Brogues on Lake Avenue in downtown Lake Worth has a new Kiwi-Aussie sparkle to its old Irish charms. On June 28, Rod Regan, wife Emily and daughter Tania took over the venerable Brogues-On-The-Avenue pub and restaurant at 621 Lake Avenue and, after a thorough cleaning and refurbishment from top to bottom, have reopened and renamed the downtown landmark Brogues Down Under. Rod is a native of Australia and New Zealand with a big Irish smile and Down Under charm. Emily previously operated the Bees Knees thrift shop on Lake Avenue. Daughter Tania is Brogues new “task-master”. The Regan family has lived here in South Florida for 21 years.
Rod spoke with me yesterday about the many improvements that he and his wife and daughter have made. The most important change is that Rod, Emily and Tania are on-site owner managers, personally greeting and serving customers. The most noticeable changes, in addition to the new name, are a sparkling clean appearance, new table cloths, an improved menu and 19 flat screen HD TVs. They hired a well-known and talented chef, Joseph Angelucci, winner of a 2010 People’s Choice Award. In addition to traditional Irish pub fare, Chef Angelucci prepares different nightly specials to please diners in the mood for international cuisine.
Entertainment is still a big part of Brogues appeal. In addition to the 19 large screen HD TVs for watching sporting events, from Tuesday through Saturday there is dinner music from 5:00 to 9:00 PM and live bands performing from 9:30 PM to 1:30 AM. For meetings, parties and special occasions, there is the large “Aussie Boomerang Bar” room, which can accommodate groups of 95 to 100 for table service, along with its own large bar. The outside dining area under the awning on Lake Avenue is a great place to sit, have a leisurely drink, lunch or dinner and enjoy the lively downtown street scene.
Rod says “This is a service business!” And that’s what the new Brogues delivers – good service, good food and drinks and good times! Their website provides directions, menus, a calendar of eventsand contact information. View Brogues at SouthFloridaDines.com.
Kelly’s Irish Traditional Hard Cider was started in 1997 by Brendan Daly and John Cronin. Daly, from Dublin, had worked for a large drinks company at Tipperary, doing quality assurance and product development. Cronin, from Kerry, was a pub owner at Listowel. Daly made hard cider in Tipperary for several years before starting Kelly’s Irish Traditional Hard Cider. Both Daly and Cronin had previously lived in the USA, and knew of the growing demand for cider here. Kelly’s Irish Traditional Hard Cider is now bottled by the Florida Beer Company at Melbourne, Florida.
Kelly’s Irish Traditional Hard Cider is fermented from the juice of four different traditional apple varieties. Unlike other hard ciders, it does not use artificial orange coloring. It is currently sold in four states, and is available in bottles and 15.5 gallon kegs. Their cider brewing efforts have been very successful and they won a “Best Cider” award from the Brewers Association in 2007.
The early settlers in America once enjoyed hard cider in large quantities. In the 19th century, American hard cider consumption topped 50 million gallons. Large quantities continued to be consumed, even after German immigrants introduced their lager beers, right up until Prohibition ended the production of hard cider in the USA. Old established orchards of bittersweet cider apples were then cut down, and farmers switched to other crops. After the repeal of Prohibition, cider never made a big comeback. Beer companies successfully lobbied to have a lower tax on beer than on cider, and farmers found that they could grow beer barley and hops much more quickly than cider apples. A productive orchard of bittersweet cider apples takes many years to grow to a productive level. Consequently, beer quickly became the #1 drink of choice in the USA.
However, a renewed demand for hard cider began in the 1980’s, when thousands of young Irish came to live in the USA. These young immigrants began drinking hard cider, first in bars in New York, Boston, Chicago and other “Irish” cities. Cider became well-established in the Irish market. From this core Irish market, cider was re-introduced to American consumers and has grown in popularity ever since. It is especially popular during hot summer days and around holidays.
Kelly’s Irish Cider Website