Feb 122004
 
Authors: James Baetke

Linden’s Brewing Co. remains empty and anchored along Linden

Street in Old Town Fort Collins, but thanks to the luck of the

Irish, the 22-year-old Fort Collins namesake is be rescued and set

back to sail in March.

In time for Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, the new Linden’s,

214 S. Linden St., will reopen as Conor O’ Neill’s Irish Pub. The

business owners will serve “pub food with an American twist,”

focusing on import beers, said Colm O’ Neill, co-owner of the new

Irish pub.

“As far as we are concerned, the deal is done,” O’ Neill

said.

Larimer County tax officials forced the early shutdown of

Linden’s in October when the bar and eatery failed to pay property

taxes. The building has been on market since mid-December.

“We are waiting for the final closing,” said Ed Stoner,

president of Old Town Square Properties Inc., the broker

representing Tommy Short, the building’s partial owner.

Short opened Linden’s in 1982 and put the business’s assets on

the market for $450,000 through Old Town Square Properties Inc.

O’Neil, an immigrant who moved from Ireland 10 years ago, said

he plans to have his business open in the beginning of March and

will strive to make it a popular facet in the Fort Collins’

downtown area. O’Neill and his business partner, Tom Murray, plan

to emphasize their pub’s Irish flare and also book a variety of

live shows throughout the week.

“The thing that amazed me about Linden’s was not only the

building but also the inside,” O’Neill said, impressed with the

room, structure and stage within the building.

Stoner said the building is a hot commodity, especially when

nearly $2 million was spent on improving its inside a couple years

ago.

“It is a great location and mainstay. It is a very elegant bar,”

Stoner said.

Stoner said other bidders were in the running for the property,

but the pub beat them out. He would not disclose the other parties

involved but stressed an official closing has not yet taken

place.

Conor O’ Neill’s has locations in both Boulder and Ann Arbor,

Mich. The pub is designed primarily to attract college students,

O’Neill said.

Despite Fort Collins’ struggling economy, O’Neill said he is

optimistic his business will work and although Linden’s has been

owned by numerous owners over the years, the name change and new

business concepts are sure to help keep it afloat, he said.

“We wouldn’t be trying it if it wouldn’t work,” O’Neill said,

who has been co-owner of his pubs for six years.

Some college students in Boulder find the pub a fun place to

hang out and appreciate the authentic feel.

“O’Neils is just cool and laid-back. The drinks are cultural and

the atmosphere is all Irish,” said Sarah Walters, a resident of

Boulder who was relaxing at the pub on Tuesday.

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