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Brooklyn Public House Set to Reopen Under New Ownership but With Same Look

By Janet Upadhye | June 11, 2014 2:07pm
 Brooklyn Public House has new owners but the look and feel of the much-loved pub remains the same.
Brooklyn Public House Reopens in Fort Greene
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FORT GREENE — The popular Brooklyn Public House is set to reopen in coming weeks under new ownership, but bargoers will find the space and the menu largely the same.

New owner Ivan Spence, a Fort Greene local who owns three bars in Manhattan, is making minor changes to the pub's interior at 247 Dekalb Ave and was recently approved for a liquor license, according to the State Liquor Authority. He will co-own the pub with Kieran McNamara, who was his childhood friend in Belfast, Ireland.

He is hoping to reopen in the next couple of weeks, and said out of respect to previous owner Kevin O'Lunney — who shuttered the beloved pub last December to take a "much-needed break" — he plans to conserve the menu, look and feel of the bar. He also invited former staff members back to work at the friendly pub.

Some have already accepted the offer, according to Spence's wife, Andriana Spence who owns nearby Hank & JoJo and recently launched Camp Fort Greene.

"We were regular patrons and friends of Kevin's," she said. "We plan to take care of the place and respect what he built."

Spence added that there wasn't much to change in the building that's still owned by O'Lunney, "except the wallpaper."

Ivan Spence currently owns Sin Bin and Junction in Midtown and Off The Rails on the Upper East Side. He also worked with O'Lunney at his former bar Kevin St. James.

For updates on the pub's opening follow the Brooklyn Public House Facebook page.