The Leapin' Leprechaun Pub and Eatery is ready to jump into downtown Chattanooga.
Knoxville-area businessman Brendan O'Doherty plans a June 3 grand opening for his new business at 100 Market St. across from the Tennessee Aquarium.
"This is my lifelong dream," he said.
He picked the name Leapin' Leprechaun as "something fun," since downtown also is home to such watering holes as the Hair of the Dog and the Pickle Barrel.
The menu will have Irish entrees, including corned beef and cabbage, bangers and even an Irish pizza with a sourdough crust, sliced bangers and potatoes on top.
"We'll have Irish fare. We'll have a couple of seasonal stews," O'Doherty said of what he described as a purposely small menu. "We just want to make what we have really good."
The bar's offerings will include higher-end whiskeys, Guinness and high-gravity beers. O'Doherty will ask for a beer license from the Chattanooga Beer Board at its meeting last Thursday.
The space, which formerly held Ray Ray's Tacos, seats 50 inside and a dozen outside. It's next to L2 Outside, a business that rents stand-up paddle boards. O'Doherty said he's spent the last month and a half building the pub's interior, which he's leasing from L2 Outside's owner.
O'Doherty hopes to attract tourists from the Tennessee Aquarium and residents from the upscale condominiums nearby on Walnut Street who seek a neighborhood place where they can hang out, have a pint and play darts.
"It's a pub — you've got to have dart boards," he said.
O'Doherty wound up in Chattanooga after deals for spaces where he hoped to open bars fell through in Knoxville and Sevierville. He began looking for a place after he sold his janitorial business.
"I came across this place on Craigslist," he said.
He plans to show UFC fights on TV, host trivia nights, and offer live, acoustic music.
Traditional Irish music has been a hit across town at Moccasin Bend Brewing Co. in St. Elmo, which recently moved to 3210 Broad St. and features the Irish acoustic band Pay the Reckoning on Sundays.
"We always had a regular crowd that would come in and tourists during the summer" for the Irish music, said Sandy Hunt, the co-owner of Moccasin Bend Brewing Co.
O'Doherty doesn't have to go back far to trace his Irish roots. His dad is from County Donegal in Northern Ireland.
"My father's from Ireland," O'Doherty said. "He came straight off the boat when he was 4."