Kevin Barry’s Pub, named the World’s Most Authentic Irish Pub outside of Ireland at the 2016 Irish Pubs Global Awards, has closed its doors after decades of service.
According to a Facebook post, Vic Power, the pub’s owner, has decided to retire as of 31st December. It is also understood that the property owner intends to go a different direction with the building.
The pub, located on West River Street in Savannah, first opened on 31st October 1980 – a day before the 70th anniversary of the execution of the pub’s namesake, Kevin G. Barry.
Kevin Barry’s traditional stylings included a no television and no wifi policy, putting an emphasis on conversations, music, and quality food and drink instead. The pub became a true home away from home for Irish people in Savannah and further afield. Many locals frequented for the music and well known singers such as the late Danny Doyle, Gabriel Donohue, Harry O’Donoghue and Cahir O’Doherty all graced the pub with traditional Irish music.
The pub has consistently won awards throughout its history, including being named as a Top 5 Irish Pub to Visit on St. Patrick’s Day by ABC News.
“The most welcoming door in Savannah was located at 117 W River St. Through that iconic door countless soldiers found their home away from home, guests made new friends, and some even met the loves of their lives. The sounds of Irish music rang throughout the 165 year old building day and night. Vic Power brought to Savannah the culture the Irish community had been craving. And, when the doors close there will be a hole in the heart of Savannah,” said Tara Reese, former Public Relations Manager for Kevin Barry’s.
“When I moved to Savannah I didn’t have any friends or family in the area. Then one day I walked in to Kevin Barry’s and the staff made me feel welcome greeting me with céad míle fáilte. After I was hired as the Public Relations manager I found my extended family and Kevin Barry’s was my home away from home,” said Tara. “I met some incredible people and formed lifelong friendships and even had some unforgettable adventures thanks to Kevin Barry’s. My heart is absolutely breaking because this is an end of an extraordinary era. There will be huge hole in the heart of the Irish community in Savannah as well as in the hearts of people who loved the pub from all corners of the world.”