Local News

Hibernian's owner plans to rebuild 'bigger and better'

Posted December 27, 2012

— The owner of Hibernian Pub in Raleigh says he plans to rebuild "bigger and better" the Glenwood South mainstay, which was destroyed by a grease fire Wednesday morning.

Hibernian Pub 00 Hibernian Pub fire damage

"It'll be good," Niall Hanley said Thursday. "Nobody was hurt. That's the blessing. The customers made Hibernian. We'll rebuild again, and they'll remake the whole idea."

Flames broke out at the Irish bar, at 311 Glenwood Ave., around 10:20 a.m., and black smoke billowed from the landmark fixture for more than an hour as firefighters battled the blaze.

"I guess I'm a little bit in shock," Hanley said. "What's making it a lot easier is the overwhelming response of my customers."

Fans of the pub have started "Team Hibernian Nation" on Facebook in support of Hanley "after the many good things he's done for the community, his employees and his patrons."

Hibernian Pub Hibernian owner planning for 'Hibernian 2.0'

As of Thursday evening, more than 2,200 people had liked the page.

Since it opened, the bar was not only an anchor for Glenwood South's economic revival. Customers say the Hibernian has become like a second home to them, drawing in regular patrons who have become like family.

"It's not just a pub," Hanley said. "You can build a beautiful box and decorate it, but it's filled with the memories and the people."

Some of those people stopped by Thursday to take photos and get a look at what's left of the downtown landmark.

"I've never seen anything like it," Hanley said. "I'm very proud, very honored that the little pub is regarded that way."

One man, he said, showed Hanley a photo of his baby girl.

"He said, 'Without that pub, that would never have happened.' He met his wife there," Hanley said. "The amount of stories that I'm getting like that are incredible. So, again, to me, the Hibernian was about the customers. It's about my staff."

Solas restaurant Hibernian owner finds work for employees after fire

Employees, some who have been with the bar since it opened, won't be out of work.

Hanley said they will take jobs at his other bars. He owns Hibernian Pub in Cary, and he is also expected to open a new bar of the same name next month in north Raleigh.

Bartender Chandler Carmichael is now working at Solas, another Glenwood Avenue eatery that Hanley owns. The restaurant is now serving some of Hibernian's menu items.

"You worry about, you know, what you're going to do next, but unbelievably, Niall has been amazing through all of this," Carmichael said. "We're all at work again."

Many Hibernian customers already are visiting Solas to be with familiar faces, he said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • btneast Dec 28, 2012

    It must have had a lot of flamible material to have gone up so fast and burned so hot!

    Yes, its called wood.

  • commonsense4 Dec 28, 2012

    Looking forward to supporting the North Raleigh location when it opens. It is looking sweet!

  • abaugh Dec 28, 2012

    It must have had a lot of flamible material to have gone up so fast and burned so hot!

  • luxurytravel Dec 27, 2012

    Just wondering how the place can burn down with the fire station maybe 10 blocks away. They should have been able to take out the fire pretty quickly. Will be interested to hear the official story of the fire. Just glad everyone was out safely!

  • christopher27519 Dec 27, 2012

    Good luck in the rebuilding process! I'll never forget the Hibernian Pub -- the only time I've ever kissed the Stanley Cup on the 2006 Pub Crawl!

  • Bartmeister Dec 27, 2012

    Just wait until they deal with the City of Raleigh inspections department and the plans review process....

    The paperwork alone could take years.... SailbadTheSinner


    3 simple words.................Express Plans Review. A few hundred bucks as a premium and he's throwing up walls in no time. This isn't Chicago or NYC where the Teamsters have to be satisfied.

  • Scubagirl Dec 27, 2012

    Not_So_Dumb......so based on your skewed logic WRAL is giving FREE PUBLICITY to every single business they report on....

    I HOPE they do and I'm sure he won't miss your business.

  • Bartmeister Dec 27, 2012

    He should be facing charges for neglect and I hope the businesses around him that are affected sue him for damages and lost income. whoruntmeover


    Sounds like a disgruntled ex worker to me. Look there are plenty of places that will hire a dishwasher, no need to worry and spew hate. You have a nice day, and buss the tables on your way out, ya hear? Take care now.

  • ConservativeVoter Dec 27, 2012

    It's just a bar and restaurant. Get over it. There are hundreds of others in Raleigh.

  • GravyPig Dec 27, 2012

    "Why don't you just say "I am sorry what happened, and incredibly happy no one was hurt or killed" and then go about your business. Too many Grinches on the Boards these days...."

    Aint that the truth. Nice to see you are still around Squirreling.