May the luck of the Irish be with O’Callahan’s


Danna Webster, KP News

Greg Calahan at his newly purchased saloon, renamed O’Callahan’s Pub and Grill. Photo: Danna Webster, KP News

Greg Calahan is the new owner of the saloon property next to Sunnycrest Nursery in Key Center. The new name is O’Callahan’s Pub and Grill. Calahan intends to find a good balance between the old ways of the Key Center Saloon and the beginnings of a new pub. He says he has “met a bunch of really good folks” and thinks he has inherited the “best staff in the country.” He is enthusiastic about his business keeping the community flavor.

Remodeling projects have begun for O’Callahan’s. The front rooms on the east side of the building are getting extreme makeovers and may become rental space. The pull-tab bar is extending into its own room. A video surveillance system is up and running; and the point-of-sale computerized inventory is in full operation. Plans for re-establishing the beer garden with a pit for horseshoe pitch, a nice lawn and attractive landscaping along the Sunnycrest fence are forming.

By springtime, Calahan expects to host bike runs and hot-rod shows. Within the first year, he intends to establish a separate restaurant area, where parents and kids can come in, eat and play games. There are plans to extend the beer taps and offer more microbrews; and, because Calahan and his wife and co-owner, Raina, are fond of wine and wineries, they intend to develop a good wine menu.

For three years, Calahan has owned the North End Tavern in the Procter District of north Tacoma. His earlier career was as an aerospace consultant, a job that required a lot of travel. He ticks off places like New York, Baltimore, Atlantic City, and states like Ohio and Texas, where he always visited the local bars and especially the Irish pubs. “Never found a bad one (bar),” he says. “I’ve done a lot of traveling, and never found a bar I didn’t like.”

The Calahans have friends and family living on the Key Peninsula and they have visited the KP regularly for 28 years. While working on the pub, Calahan divides his time between the family residence in Puyallup and staying with his father-in-law in Home.

He sees the KP as a growing community and wants to add to it with new staff to assist with the business changes. “It’s a store like everything else,” he explains. “You’ve got your product and that’s the way it works.” He encourages interested applicants to call O’Callahan’s at 884-9766 or come in and fill out an application.

The goal for O’Callahan’s Pub and Grill is to keep the Key Pen community flavor while adding a bit of the Irish in the stew.