O’Toole’s new owner brings international flavor to pub
Brandon, FL | September 8, 2014 – O’Toole’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, 1215 W. Brandon Blvd., has a new owner, Alistair Mitchell.
Alistair Mitchell, of both Scottish and American ancestry, owned multiple pubs in Europe for about 20 years. The return to the States by Alistair and his wife, Jessie Mitchell, was twofold: to help his elderly parents and to let their high-school-aged son, Bradley Mitchell, experience life in America.
After they settled in Tampa, Alistair met former O’Toole’s owner Marcus Winters through a mutual friend, visited the pub in Brandon and liked what he saw.
“Frankly, I enjoy the pub business a lot, and it’s a good time to get back into it,” said Alistair, who also owns Big Frog of Oldsmar, a store that specializes in customized T-shirts.
Although O’Toole’s was never for sale, he discussed the idea with Marcus, and a mutually agreeable transaction was reached.
Alistair’s vision for the restaurant springs from his multi-national upbringing.
“I want O’Toole’s to have an international feel rooted in a traditional Irish pub,” he said. “My mission is to deliver good food, good service and good entertainment at a fair price.”
Alistair is a musician and guitarist and will be active in auditioning the different bands and acts that will play. “I want to provide entertainment, not just music,” he said. “I’m looking for excellent musicians who can interact well with a crowd.”
O’Toole’s is being refreshed with new paint, upgraded bathrooms and new furniture. For the sports-minded, like himself, he will add televisions.
“These upgrades will make the place even more comfortable,” the new owner said.
He will continue the tradition of helping the community by hosting the O’Toole’s Irish Pub and Restaurant’s seventh annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving event. It will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at O’Toole’s.
“I’m about due for a haircut, so I’ll get my head shaved, too,” said Mitchell.
At the St. Baldrick’s Foundation event, barbers and hairstylists will shave volunteers’ heads, to show solidarity with children who may lose their hair while undergoing cancer treatment. The shave-a-thon volunteers collect monetary pledges from friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, and their bald heads provide opportunities to talk about childhood cancers. Money raised is used to battle and cure those illnesses.
Team Stephen, usually the largest volunteer group in the event, will participate again this year. They raise funds in the name of the late Steve Easton, who was employed by O’Toole’s for years. Easton survived a rare congenital disorder and was a shavee his last five years, ever compassionate toward ill children.
O’Toole’s also will host Irish Night, Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, Sept. 17, with Irish music from 6 to 9 p.m. by guitarist and singer Bobby Vesey.
On Friday nights, Jack Live Entertainment will provide live music from 8 to 10 p.m.
O’Toole’s Irish Pub and Restaurant is open from 2:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Check out www.otoolesirishbar.com to see a menu, specials and events. Musicians, call (813) 684-2600 to set up an audition.
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Phone (various dates in August, 2014) and in-person (Aug. 21, 2014) interviews with Nicole Valentin, (813) 355-0036. Phone interview with Alistair Mitchell Aug. 26, 2014 (813) 482-6521