The Grisly Details
As promised, I did get a chance to ask a former Claddagh employee to talk about Saturday’s events. Many know Marcia from the pub, she knew all of the regulars. She was always quick with a drink, an order, or a laugh. She was nice enough to respond to my questions and I was able to confirm much of what I wrote earlier. Craig and much of the staff felt compelled to quit after the most recent friction with Claddagh corporate.
In preparation for the event, the corporate offices brought in several general managers and pub management staff to help out. I didn’t happen to see any of them that morning and Marcia noted that they asked 30 minutes before kickoff if Craig wanted any help, but he declined. By that point the place was already filled and there wasn’t much that already wasn’t being done by the regular staff.
I remember talking to Craig for just a minute around this time, it was obvious he was very busy with the many duties of manager. At that time it was making sure the beer lines were orderly and tracking down underage patrons. I did not see him stop for more than 10 seconds as he made his way amongst the crowd. Marcia said that Claddagh’s corporate management pulled Craig aside and wanted to talk to him before the game. He declined because he wanted to keep running the event rather than take a meeting.
Post match, as many patrons, including me started heading home, Craig and some of the staff took a short break. This, according to Marcia, is apparently when the corporate manager pulled Craig out to the patio and reprimanded him in front of the other managers and even some customers. It was made clear to Craig that he had not done a good enough job by underestimating the crowd, running understaffed, and declining help from the visiting management staff. Craig chose to quit as he would either continue to be second guessed or even dismissed.
As for the rest of the staff I won’t even try to sum up the disgust that the staff felt after Craig left. Marcia put it best when asked by corporate if she was quitting after the general manager and assistant manager Monty just quit, “I told him that I was tired of corporate treating people like shit and I left too and then the whole bar staff left. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!”
There is a few of the regular staff left. They have moved the GM from Claddagh Polaris to the Brewery District some staff that walked out are getting calls to come back, but Marcia also said that she, Craig, Monty and a couple other bar staff have been told to never step foot in the Claddagh again. The corporate line is that every event will go on as scheduled and within 6 months everything will be back to normal. I find that impossible to believe. The regulars that made the place home are ready to collect the scarfs that line the walls. Others have already commented they won’t be coming back as it stands now. There is nothing that will make me go back there.
I have nothing but thanks to offer Craig, Monty, Jeff, Wendy, and the countless other staff that have treated me so well at the old Claddagh. I also have many thanks to Marcia for sharing what led up to what I see as the end of the premier soccer bar in the city.