Our story begins in a bar, in an era of jean skirts, big bangs, tight jeans, rugby shirts, Bruce Springsteen, and the tv show Cheers-a fictional bar where “you want to go where everyone knows your name.” I was the bartender and Jeffrey was the restaurant manager. This tall, dark, and handsome ping-pong playing Pennsylvania-raised seminary student stole my heart. He likes to think it was his big ol’ turquoise belt buckle and our matching white cowboy boots that caught my attention. Not so, cowboy. I fell for his easy-going ways and his love for celebrating life. What also began in that humble establishment was our fondness for a gathering place and a tiny whisper of a dream to create one ourselves. Over thirty years later, our dream is a fully-formed reality.
A bar has been a comfortable place for me. As a girl, I joined my father on his various bar rounds and visits as a Hamm’s rep. In my teenage years, my dad was steeped in the bar world as the owner of The Scoreboard, a lively establishment next to the Met. From my early years, I’ve been surrounded with the friendships and community that mix and mingle around drink, food, music, and conversation.
Throughout my adult decades, Jeffrey and I have celebrated life and relationships within our church. Over the past thirty-two years, Jeffrey has woven hospitality, relationships, diversity, and justice-seeking through the social fabric of our faith community. Now, all we believe about gathering people together for good is being extended to our Public house. We’ve chosen the story of the prodigal son returning home and being celebrated with food and drink as an inspiration to welcome and celebrate all. The Prodigal Pub is a Public-a place for all people-and a House-a home-for connections and reconnections. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, you are welcome here.
Our vision for our public house was fanned into bright and colorful images over the past decade as we traveled throughout Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the UK stopping in pubs in quaint towns and picturesque villages. On one of our pub visits, we mentioned to the owner that we were seeking traces of Jeffrey’s Cowmeadow ancestry. No sooner had we mentioned our quest when a proud, broad-shouldered Brit stepped into our conversation and announced in his English accent, “Cowmeadow? I’m a Cowmeadow!” In his bold declaration, the weaving of our lives, of our past and of our present, spun a tale of timeless connections and a reminder of how a gathering place can feel like home.
As proud Publicans of an ecCeltic wee pub on the corner of 26th and 1st Avenue, we are celebrating the Celtic traditional whiskeys from many regions in Scotland and Ireland alongside the locally brewed beers from our region with delightfully simple but flavorful pub fare.
Welcome home. We are glad you came.