In 2010, when the economy was plummeting and businesses across America were being forced to close their doors, four Ireland-born sisters received a phone call that changed the fate of their Atlantic Beach restaurant. Talk about Culhane's Irish Pub had reached producers of the Food Network's “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." They loved the restaurant's website, menu and story, prompting them to contact Mary Jane Culhane about the possibility of being featured on the popular show hosted by Guy Fieri.
"Having our own Irish pub had been a dream of ours since we first came to the states," Culane said. "After 10 years of saving, we were finally able make it a reality. We used our own money to back the restaurant — never taking out loans from any banks — so watching the economy drop in 2009 and knowing that 70 percent of restaurants fail, we were thankful for the publicity that a visit from Fieri would bring."
Before a spot of the show could be secured, production teams were sent to check out the pub in person.
"They wanted to make sure everything was made from scratch and to make sure it was a legitimate, authentic place," Culhane said. "A lot of Irish pubs are all about the bar, but we've always focused on our Irish chefs and authentic food; many of our recipes come straight from our mother's kitchen. That's what sets Culhane's apart."
The creators of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" agreed. A week after learning they had landed a highly-coveted spot on the show, Fieri was in their kitchen. The show highlighted popular Irish comfort foods, like their Guiness Beef Stew, Dingle Fish Pie and Blarney Lamb Sliders. The unique ambiance and close-knit community, too, were emphasized — a true Irish pub atmosphere.
Culhane's has had loyal local customers since it's opening, but being on national television and now having a six-page spread in Fieri's new book has opened up a whole new group of patrons. People travel all over the country, following in Fieri's … More