Ryan Chartrand

The red glow of a familiar neon sign illuminated the night air, laughter and chatter boomed, and a line of at least 20 patrons anticipated their entry into the new location of an old favorite at Marsh and Nipomo streets. That’s right, McCarthy’s is back.

The grand opening was held on Oct. 19 to pay tribute to the closing of the previous address at 1019 Court St., management said.

“The only thing that’s different is the geography,” said the pub’s managing partner Ron Meier. “It’s the same as it ever was.”

McCarthy’s Irish Pub officially opened on Oct. 5 at 600 Marsh St., the former location of Old Country Deli, management said. The bar closed its doors at the Court Street location exactly eight months before the grand opening of the new location on Friday.

Many guests will notice the familiar bar stools, tables and even Irish decorations adorning the walls, including enormous green four-leaf clovers and pictures.

The crew even installed old wood paneling on the walls to give it an authentic McCarthy’s look, Meier said.

Now patrons can relax in an enclosed 400-square-foot outdoor patio at the new location, but the music remains the same, Meier said. Artist like Frank Sinatra and The Clash can be heard through the loud speakers, but absolutely “no hip-hop” will ever be played there, he said.

Like the old pub, the new space has two television screens above the bar, but flat screens add a new depth.

“We always had two TVs, but because of the low ceilings (in the new location), we now have flat screens,” Meier said.

The pub’s home was at 1019 Court St. for 55 years before it moved to its new location in March.

The Court Street building was one of several downtown structures to undergo retrofits earlier this year, causing many businesses to change locations or close altogether.

The cost to refurbish and reuse the original bar top, doors and other fixtures was about $50,000, owner Bill Hales told the Tribune earlier this month.

“Here, it’s all the same people – the same staff, the same regulars,” said McCarthy’s manager Daryl Cope. “That’s what makes McCarthy’s great. It’s the same place, just a new house.”

Many familiar faces returned, including 10 employees, and management anticipates even more new patrons.

“The customers are tried and true. So many people love it so dearly and we never turn our noses down at a new patron,” Meier said. “However, this is not a place to get drunk and throw up. This is a conversation bar.”

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