Hibernian reopens 'bigger and better' than ever
Posted March 1
Raleigh, N.C. — More than a year ago, when a fire destroyed the Hibernian Pub on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, owner Niall Hanley vowed to rebuild "bigger and better than ever." On Saturday, that promise became a reality.
The popular restaurant and bar closed its doors on Dec. 26, 2012, after a grease fire ripped through the building.
"It's actually just kind of a rebirth," said former Hibernian employee Jennifer Leshney. "I know that when it burned down it was such a sad day for Raleigh."
Since it opened, the bar was not only an anchor for Glenwood South's economic revival, but resident Stephen Kouba described the restaurant as a landmark.
"It was a place where the community came to enjoy themselves, especially the folks in the area on Glenwood South," he said.
The new Hibernian has two levels, including an outdoor deck, but Hanley said there are also some things from the original building.
"There's a photograph of my father and mother, it was one of the only things that survived," he said. "My sister is over from Ireland. She actually framed it and we put it up in the inside bar."
Married couple Sherri and Juri Groenland met at the Hibernian and now have a two-year old daughter.
"This is one of our favorite places in the world," Sherri said.
The couple now lives in Virginia Beach, but drove down to the Triangle for the reopening.
Hibernian teamed up with Napper Tandy's to host a St. Baldrick's Shave-a-Thon and block party Saturday, but will be easing back into its normal hours beginning Sunday.
Hibernian has two other locations - one in Cary and another in north Raleigh.