You can’t beat a proper family-run, American steakhouse and who knew we had one right here in the heart of Longford? The Vintage Bar & Steakhouse reopened its doors last year under new ownership and, while the pandemic has certainly caused some headaches, you can’t deny Wes Garrett and his family have really brought the popular Moydow joint back to its former glory.
Hailing from north Michigan, Wes has over 20 years of experience as an executive chef. Back home, he ran his own steakhouse and has a number of accolades to his name, including Best Steakhouse, Best Steak, and many more. He also featured in the prestigious Traverse Magazine.
“We came to Ireland three years ago and stumbled across the Vintage Bar,” he told the Longford Leader. “Many years ago, it was a well-known and popular restaurant and in the past decade it became more of a bar, so when I came across it in February of last year, my family and I wanted to bring it back to glory.”
The Vintage Bar was a well-known venue used to host birthday parties, christenings, communions and other events. It was at the heart of many Longford family celebrations and, while most people in the county know it, they don’t know it’s back in business, with a few improvements.
“We want to be a restaurant that serves drinks, not the other way around,” Wes explained, adding that group bookings for christenings, communions and other family events will still be possible.
Family is an important component of the Vintage Bar & Steakhouse. Wes met his wife Laura in Italy and, after a few years together, they decided to move to Ireland.
“I worked as a kitchen manager at Center Parcs when they first opened,” Wes explained, “I was there for a year and a half and then we stumbled across the Vintage and I always wanted to own my own restaurant so here we are.”
Since then the family has worked hard with Laura working on the interior of the restaurant, ensuring customers have a comfortable and atmospheric dining experience. Wes’ stepdaughter Florina is a front of house manager while his stepson Bogdan works in the kitchen as a chef. The rest of the staff is made up of local people.
“So it’s a family thing. My whole family has chipped in during the pandemic,” said Wes, and all hands were needed on deck during what has been the most challenging time for long-established businesses, nevermind new ones.
“We opened a month before the pandemic and then we were closed and then we were open for a few months and then we were closed again,” Wes explained, “but the feedback we were getting when we were open was that the food was amazing.
“We do outdoor dining too,” he added. “We built a shelter and we have a back garden surrounded by trees. We have a gazebo with lighting and with heating. When the Government decided on outdoor dining, we were ready for it. We also follow all guidelines indoors.
“When we were closed down, we were open for takeaway. That was a rough period but it gave us an opportunity to do some renovation and get things fixed up. People love the fact that we’re back and there’s a new chef in town. We want to get it back to where it used to be.
Wes and his team have created a mouth-watering menu which features delicious steaks, burgers, pasta and plenty more. Special offers and new menu options are shared via the restaurant’s Facebook page, Vintage Bar & Steakhouse.
Bookings can be made by calling 043 33 91798. Open for sit in or takeaway
Thursday - Saturday 4pm -11.30pm
Sunday 3pm - 11.30pm
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