When it comes to his plans for The Harp, Ted Baker has literally read the writing on the wall. Baker, the owner of sports bar Revelry on Richmond and Bobcat Teddy’s in The Heights, recently leased the Montrose pub from local developer Braun Enterprises and purchased the rights to The Harp name from former owner Declan Plunkett.
“I read the bathroom graffiti. It said ‘Revelry, don’t F this up,’” Baker tells CultureMap. “People think you’re going to destroy the character. I don’t think I’m living on anyone’s coattails, but I don’t want to ruin what he accomplished for 20 years.”
Rather than an entirely new concept — Baker says he was competing for the space with some unnamed but high-profile operators — his plans for The Harp closely mirror the transformation of Jimmy’s Ice House into Bobcat Teddy’s: clean it up, brighten it up, and make some structural improvements to the patio. Baker and his team will spend the next couple of weeks giving The Harp a new coat of paint, cleaning it inside and out, and working with bartender Alli Genoway on a new cocktail menu. In addition, he’ll add Bobcat Teddy’s extensive selection of Irish whiskeys to The Harp’s inventory.
If all goes according to plan, The Harp will have its grand reopening on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). Because Baker already had an all-day affair planned for Bobcat Teddy’s, the party at The Harp won’t be quite as large as the parking lot bashes of previous years, but it will give regulars the opportunity to revisit their favorite watering hole.
After approximately four months, Baker says he plans to rebuild the bar’s sagging deck, replace the front door with a roll-up garage door, and install an awning on the Richmond side that will make the one that runs along the seating adjacent to the parking lot. All in, the changes are designed to preserve the bar’s character while making it more comfortable for regulars and more welcoming for newcomers.
Most of the staff had already found new jobs — as had steak night purveyor Meat Mojo — but a couple will return. Chapman Smoked Meats will begin serving barbecue on Saturday nights, and steak nights will return with the same cooks that work at Bobcat Teddy’s. Baker says he’s hoping to find more food pop-ups to feed patrons on other nights, too.
Everything should be fine. Ted Baker is excited about the opportunity to own a beloved Montrose watering hole. He isn’t going to F it up.