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The Grisly Details

June 14, 2010

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.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. blackwatertown permalink
    June 15, 2010 3:50 am

    What a shame.

  2. June 15, 2010 8:56 am

    It’s just heartbreaking. At least we know now that we have to move on. Short term solution probably won’t match what we had at Claddagh, but maybe long term we can find (or create) something that can surpass it.

  3. Craig McConville permalink
    June 15, 2010 11:27 am

    I thank all the wonderful people who have sat at the bar, donated scarfs and made me feel useful over the past few years. I know this will lead to a better soccer pub somewhere. Its the community of fans and friends that makes a pub, not the 4 walls. Cheers to everyone! I wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything and the support everyone has shown is overwhelming.

    • June 15, 2010 11:38 am


      That’s the spirit. I hope to see you across a bar soon. Even better if you own the bar!

    • Liz permalink
      June 16, 2010 4:57 pm

      Just wanted to say thanks for sticking through the crap as long as you did. I’ll never set foot in a Claddagh again, but I’ll always have the memories of working for you and Marcia. You’re the best thing that ever happened to Claddagh and its too bad they weren’t bright enough to see it.

  4. June 15, 2010 11:36 am

    Found on BigSoccer:

    Here is the Claddagh corporate rep’s phone: 513-557-9841

    I just called and let him now how disappointed I am and that I’d never set foot in another Claddagh pub again due to the situation with Craig and the Brewery District location

  5. June 15, 2010 12:16 pm

    Craig, good for you. I would highly encourage you to open yr own place and take yr clientele (and staff) with you. After all, the majority of the people that went to claddagh went there because of the people on both sides of the bar.

    You’d make a killing dude. And there’s a bunch of cheap property out there at the moment.

  6. MarketMary permalink
    June 15, 2010 12:51 pm

    Craig- We talked at on the patio at Claddagh on St. Patrick’s Day about you trying to get the adjacent park for the World Cup opening day celebration. Knowing what a near-impossible task that was, I was so excited for you and proud that you pulled it off!

    I am subsequently so disappointed in the response from your corporate office. As an event planner I am very aware that there are so many factors that can make or break your event and it is nigh impossible to plan for them all. Record-breaking attendance is to be praised not chastised.

    You should be very proud of such overwhelming success in a 1st time event and the amazing turnout speaks volumes about how you and your staff have cultivated soccer fans and their loyal patronage. In all of the comments on various boards I have heard no disappointment in you or your staff who were obviously working tirelessly (as always) to meet your patrons needs. Best of luck to you as I’m sure you will land somewhere that you will be appreciated and valued.

  7. Beast permalink
    June 15, 2010 1:46 pm

    To Craig:

    We love you, we love, we love you
    and where you go we’ll follow, we’ll follow, we’ll follow…..

  8. Jason permalink
    June 15, 2010 2:27 pm

    I support Craig and the staff that supported him. It sounds like he did his best to handle a larger than expected crowd. It is a shame that corporate mishandled the situation, which has led to much of their staff (and many of their patrons) leaving. The only mistake Craig made was not meeting with his boss. Think about what would happen if you refused to meet with YOUR boss. I know I would get reprimanded too. The only answer to that is be your own boss — I hope you can do it Craig!

  9. June 15, 2010 4:01 pm

    As a southsider I wanted to chip in that there is a new Irish Pub on South High. Maybe half a mile south of Claddaughs or so. I will be there untill I hear otherwise; never liked the place anyway. Too much restraunt not enough pub.

  10. June 15, 2010 6:51 pm

    I did call J.T. at corporate today and expressed my displeasure with their actions. I know nothing will come of it, but it is the least I can do to let them know they ruined a good thing.

  11. David permalink
    June 15, 2010 8:24 pm

    Sounds to me like Craig and the staff handled this immaturely. At least it explains why I’ve progresse/matured in life from working in a restaurant to an office. “Power to the people?” Is that a joke?

    • Yobine permalink
      June 16, 2010 8:09 am

      Are you a joke, obviously. I have worked in Restaurants and bars all my life besides the last 2 years, I took up your “mature office job”. What a joke, working harder for someone else not as smart as me who thinks they are better because their parents bought them a college degree. Psshhhhh, nonsense I quit now Im back making more money at my immature bartending job. But Im happy, unlike your bitter ass.

      • David permalink
        June 16, 2010 8:50 pm

        How’s the insurance and 401k? Let me know how that retirement works out for you.

  12. mersh permalink
    June 16, 2010 9:21 am

    I happen to think that david is a stage name. Go team Claddagh Corporate. What else can you send our way? Is it going to be Alfonzo this time saying that it was a terrible staff and Craig sucks?

  13. June 16, 2010 9:47 am

    There will be an event Sunday evening at Jimmy V’s celebrating the staff at Claddagh that we’ve come to know over the years.

    Facebook Event:

    This event is to thank our friends formerly of Claddagh Irish Pub for their hard work and dedication. The management and staff of Claddagh made for a warm and welcoming place for everyone that walked through the door. Join us for this celebration to thank those who have served us throughout the years and wish them good luck in all their future endeavors!

  14. Grant Houghton permalink
    June 16, 2010 10:56 am

    I wanna say that I have know Marcia for a while and was an enthusiastic customer there back when I was visiting Columbus on my tour around the US, I think that is an amazing amount of team spirit to unite with one action. Having managed and worked in bars all over the world, in particular London I can promise you that this action would never have taken place, which is a shame as it’s about time we all started standing up to Corporate…. Let hope this stone creates many ripples!!!

  15. David permalink
    June 16, 2010 8:49 pm

    Love the fact that you guys think I work for Claddagh. Conspiracy theorists run amok!

    • Yobine permalink
      June 17, 2010 10:40 am

      I love the fact that you waste your time on community webpages that you are not (and will never be) a part of. I know I know you dont want to be, besides your to busy driving your Beamer with the windows down bumping the new Kenny G album. By the way my 401k is rocking now more than ever, you don’t need to work in an office to save buddy. Besides my shitty office job stopped contributing at the start of this “great recession”.

      • David permalink
        June 17, 2010 6:22 pm

        You’re right–I’m not interested in following the Crew (but enjoy the World Cup and the real football played overseas), but nevertheless am too self-important not to share. I don’t drive a Beamer and I don’t listen to Kenny G. I agree that your office job sounded shitty since they stopped contributing to your 401k. Glad my employer is that bad. Cheers!

    • Greg permalink
      June 20, 2010 12:08 am

      The telltale sign of impotence and/or a small penis: bragging about one’s 401k and insurance benefits. David, go refill your viagara subscrtiption and have a wank to sky sports news.

      • David permalink
        June 23, 2010 10:44 pm

        Will do sweetheart. Enjoy your MLS aka minor league soccer.


  1. Craig Speaks « An American Game

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