As if overseeing the serving of rich pub fare and intriguing drinks, Jordy McTaggart gazes out on the horizon from his portrait, hung carefully on the brick wall at the bar that bares his name.
Calm even on its grand opening day, Jordy McTaggart’s Grill & Pub’s owners have done this before.
David Baker and Tim Rohrer already own and operate three Montana Mike’s franchise restaurants.
Jordy’s Pub, as it’s affectionately known, was conceived as an Irish pub and restaurant in a market that previously had no such thing.
Working with a decided plan in mind, Baker and Rohrer spent three and a half months transforming the space — previously occupied by Scotty’s Burger Joint and Detour American Grille & Bar — into a homey Irish pub. It’s inside the ultra-modern glass edifice of The Commons.
Despite the smooth veneer gracing Jordy’s Pub’s presentation and execution, the restaurant is not a chain, nor will it become one, Rohrer said.
“We built this to be the one and only,” he said.
With brick walls and dark wood paneling, as well as barrels incorporated throughout the decor, Jordy’s Pub has a sea-faring feel to it that fits into the pub’s “Work like a captain, play like a pirate” approach.
Customers enter from the Washington Street entrance and encounter the host station. The space, which has an open feel, is divided into different territories.
To the right of the entrance are high tables flanked with stools, intimate booths.
Community tables made from walnut wood 2½-inches thick provide seating along the front windows.
To the left is the stage, for live music often provided by Brown County-based Celtica, flanked by cozy booth sitting.
The bar sits in the center, with tall tables circled by stools, more booths, and a cozy nook referred to as the Captain’s Corner, which faces the lower interior of The Commons.
Peppered along the walls are portholes, model ships and painted mottos of blessings such as “May the sun shine upon your face.”
Restrooms, too, have a nautical theme, with rope embellishments and rugged trunk frames on the mirrors.
What’s on the menu
The menus reflect the restaurant’s theme and polish and flare.
“We spent many hours in test kitchens developing our food,” Baker said. “We went through 15 different hamburger buns before we found the bun we wanted to use.”
Featuring Irish American food, dishes include:
Traditional British fare including Bangers and Mash, $10.99; Fish and Chips, $7.99 to $12.99; and Jordy’s Shepherd’s Pie, $12.99.
Fusion specialties such as Irish Egg Rolls, corned beef and sauerkraut with Swiss cheese in an egg roll wrapper with a side of bistro dipping sauce, $7.99; and Irish Nachos, house-made potato chips topped with seasoned ground beef, beer cheese sauce, sour cream and jalapenos, $7.99 to $12.99.
n Sandwiches and wraps, grilled meats, burgers, salads, as well as a kid’s menu with chicken tenders, cheese pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches, with the most expensive items still under $20.
If you’re thirsty, you can just stop in for a drink.
Jordy’s Pub offerings include 24 beers on tap as well as specialty cocktails such as the Shamrock Margarita, $8, made with traditional margarita mix, top-shelf tequila and Midori for an extra vibrant green.
During the warm months, patrons can also sit outside and dine at the restaurant’s 13 outdoor tables.
Customers weigh in Donna Phillips, Mary Lou Slattery and Cheri Stone dined outside on the restaurant’s second official day.
“It makes this main street look so pretty and polished,” said Phillips, who had the turkey wrap.
Slattery, on her second visit to Jordy’s Pub, had a bacon cheeseburger.
“I had the fish sandwich the first time,” she said. “It was the way fish should be.”
Stone ordered a buffalo chicken wrap, sans buffalo sauce, in a custom wrap.
“Our waiter was very accommodating,” Stone said.
“The prices are great, too,” Slattery said. “Very reasonable — and the restaurant is family oriented, too, so I can bring my grandkids here.”
The bar’s namesake, Jordy McTaggart, is a fictional character Rohrer and Baker dreamed up, a ship captain who lived during the 1890s. Fictional or not, the captain’s restaurant opened to some real buzz. At least 100 people turned out for the restaurant’s opening day, and the restaurant’s Facebook page erupted with comments which now boasts more than 600 likes.
“Our hope is that this becomes a landmark, that it has a draw of its own,” Baker said.