A touch of Ireland is getting closer to being added to Downtown Alton in Morrison’s Irish Pub.

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A visit to the new location showed intense work under way inside the business at 200 State St. in Alton, on the corner of State and Broadway, across from Ardent Mills.

The pub will open after the bar/restaurant front manager Katey Vankirk and head cook George Thayer marry in Ireland and return home. Mary Vankirk and her partner, Lisa Morrison, will be the principal owners of the business. Katey is the daughter of Mary.

The group has formulated a menu with food that will likely be a hit. The menu will start with Lamburgers, Cottage Pie, Whiskey Glazed Salmon, Corned Beef Briskets, Irish Style Sausages, an Irish Wrap and much more.

Morrison and Vankirk both have Irish heritage. There will be Irish décor inside directly from Ireland when the place is finished.

A stage for live entertainment has been constructed and much of the music will center around the Irish theme, the women said.

“We put a lot into it,” Vankirk said. “We should be open sometime in the July 20-range.”

The women said they may open the business to the public before they go with George and Katey to Ireland for their wedding in the early part of July, then it will be reopened when they return.

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The pub will feature fresh beers and one beer made locally in particular for Morrison’s, an Irish Red. There also will be Irish whiskeys available and a variety of fresh beers on tap, several locally brewed. The women said they wanted to support the others in the area who are brewing beer, plus offer some others people would want. There will be six local brews on tap and six imported, the four said.

The tables inside the new restaurant/pub are hand-crafted and will help carry the Irish ambiance.

“We are working to make it very Irish-authentic,” Vankirk said.

The business anticipates it will get people coming over from St. Louis and beyond. Many will drive on the Great River Road along the Mississippi and see the big Morrison’s sign in front and a sign for the side of the restaurant is coming.

There should be a lot of musicians who carry the Irish theme on stage. Often, when one starts playing Irish music on stage at this kind of establishment, others will follow.

Katey said she just loves the new place and her and George can’t wait for it to open. George is an exceptional cook and his abilities will be shown in the new place with delightful Irish food, she adds.

Riverbender.com will keep the public aware of when the new establishment will open and have a view from inside once it does open its doors. This will be another example of the revitalization of Downtown Alton and the two women said they are happy to be a part of the many changes going on.

“The great thing is this is a family project and that makes it very special to us,” Morrison and Vankirk said.

Morrison’s phone number will be 618-433-8900.

The Morrison's Irish Pub crew show one of their handmade tables. The four have completely revitalized the structure inside the new restaurant, but preserved its history in the process.

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