The Flynn family has been talking about opening their own restaurant for many years. And, when they were offered an opportunity at the former J. Patrick’s Pub in Locust Point, they knew it was the type of opportunity they could not pass up. Brother and sister Ritchie and Cora Flynn grew up in a large Irish Family in New England and when their family would come down to visit them in Baltimore it would always include a stop at J. Patrick’s Pub.
Cora, Ritchie and Ritchie’s wife Veronica are teaming up to open In Like Flynn Tavern at 1371 Andre St. Property owner Steve O’Donnell was originally planning to open an Irish pub after purchasing the restaurant and real estate at auction in early 2013, but later approached Cora about taking over the restaurant space, which the Flynns did in September 2013.
In Like Flynn Tavern will be a South Baltimore reunion for the trio. Cora, Ritchie and Veronica first worked together for about six years at The Bicycle, a regionally popular restaurant that was open at 1444 Light St., the current home of Liv2Eat. Veronica, the chef of the crew, created the menu at The Bicycle along with Chef Barry Rumsey. Cora and Ritchie worked in the front of the restaurant.
Cora later went on to work at Bolton Hill Bistro and McCabes, where she was awarded Baltimore’s best bartender by Baltimore City Paper and was also featured in Baltimore Magazine. Ritchie later worked for almost ten years at Little Havana and Veronica went on to become the Chef D’Cuisine at the Camden Club at Oriole Park, Executive Chef at Little Havana, and Executive Chef at McCabes in Hampden.
There will be both similarities and differences between In Like Flynn Tavern and J. Patrick’s, which was open at the Andre St. location since 1987. Live Irish music performances will continue and they are looking to continue that family friendly atmosphere of J. Patrick’s. “We want everyone to feel at home, enjoy a great meal, have great conversation over a few drinks, and of course take in some great music. If we can provide all of this, I think we have done Mr. Byrnes great justice by taking over J. Patrick’s, which was a cornerstone of this neighborhood for years,” said Ritchie Flynn.
In this spirit, a large sign will be painted on the wall reading, “Strangers are just friends you have not met yet.”
The first change you will notice at In Like Flynn is large windows letting in a lot of natural light. The Flynns teamed with local designer Carroll Frey on the look of the tavern. The design was described as traditional with a slight industrial feel and a balance between masculine and feminine. The tavern features a large oak bar with a top made of a former tin ceiling, hardwood floors, Edison bulbs, and an open kitchen. The colors of the restaurant represent the golds, yellows and blues from the Flynn Family Crest. There will be pictures of old Baltimore, as well as old Flynn family pictures. The space will also feature dark wood hightop tables, booths, and dining tables.
Also, In Like Flynn will be a bit lighter on Byrnes’ no swearing rule.
Chef Veronica Flynn came to the United States from Jamaica in 1997, so the Irish menu will have some splashes of Caribbean flavor including curry shrimp, jerk burgers, and whole fish specials. The menu overall includes Irish cuisine with their own twist, featuring a leek and potato soup, Irish shillelagh sticks, corned beef sausage, fish and chips, beef and Guinness pie, and more. Most of their sandwiches will be on Veronica’s homemade pretzel rolls and the menu also includes “gastropub fare” highlighted by appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees.
The drink lineup will be highlighted by many Irish whiskeys, black and tans, half and half brews, and their signature drink will be a Selkie, an Irish take on the dark and stormy featuring Maine Root Ginger Beer and Irish whiskey. There will also be a fig mojito and Cora also makes her own Maraschino cherries for manhattans. They will have eight drafts featuring pints of craft and Irish beers.
In Like Flynn is hoping to open this weekend and they will stay open seven days a week. Lunch will be served every day except Monday and brunch will be served on Sundays. They will host live music about three days a week featuring Irish music as well as jazz, blue grass and Caribbean.