Imagine yourself walking off a busy street in America and through a door that takes you back in time to the cozy and communal atmosphere of a traditional pub 100 years ago in Ireland. This is what David Kelly and Ciaran Sheehan set out to accomplish when they built their first Rí Rá pub in Charlotte, NC in 1997. They set to work in Dublin to meticulously restore the unique Victorian bar in the middle of the Charlotte pub.
David and Ciaran have stuck to their original goal and each Rí Rá pub is completely unique and different to the next. Designed, developed and built by Ciaran in Wicklow from authentic and often famous old pubs in Ireland, such as the Olympia Theatre which first opened in Dublin in 1879, before being shipped to America.
David and Ciaran grew up together in Dublin, Ireland and emigrated separately to America, one to pursue a career in design the other in Guinness marketing. As the business grew the two befriended and became partners with Jay Luther, an experienced multi-unit operator who now runs Rí Rá Holdings, LLC.
Ri Ra Irish Pub, Providence
Photos published with permission of
Ri Ra Irish Pub