Owners of Irish Embassy Pub hope to reopen by next St. Patrick's Day

Nearly six months after a devastating fire, the owners of the Irish Embassy Pub & Grill on Bishop St. are looking to reopen in another six months — in time for next year's St. Patrick's Day.

Shortly after the five-alarm fire broke out in the early morning hours of March 24 — after closing time, but before sunrise — the owners of the downtown landmark were told by their insurance company that it would take about six months to rebuild it. But delays, including structural problems and red tape, have pushed the grand reopening back.

"We're trying to just complete the demolition right now, because the entire building was written off — not the facade, but the interior," the bar's general manager Joe Cannon told CJAD 800's Andrew Carter on Wednesday. "Every time that we tried to do the demo, they find a bit of a structural issue."

Cannon says, however, they're hoping to have the demolition of the interior done as early as next week — then, it'll be time to rebuild.

"We'll start with the third floor, putting that back on," Cannon says, referring to the top floor of the old stone building, where the fire began and caused the most damage.

Cannon says he and his partner Paul Quinn are hoping to reopen in time for next year's St. Patrick's festivities — but while that happens, how does the business stay afloat while it's not taking in any money?

"Our wives...they have their careers, and thankfully, they're both successful at what they do," Cannon says, "and they've been able to keep us going."

Despite the hardship, Cannon retains some optimism about the bar's future.

"It's something exciting," Cannon says. "I would never wish this on my worst enemy, but to have something brand new, new electrical, new plumbing, new everything...it's going to be fun."