Flannery’s inks deal to add Greencastle location

PAT FRIDGEN
John and Ame Flannery are shooting for a Dec. 1 opening of a new eating establishment in Greencastle. The owners of Flannery's Tavern on the Square in Mercersburg will open their second business at the former Antrim House Restaurant at 104 E. Baltimore St.

The ink is dry on the final document, paving the way for John and Ame Flannery to open a new eating establishment in Greencastle. The owners of Flannery's Tavern on the Square in Mercersburg will open their second business Dec. 1 if alterations to the former Antrim House Restaurant at 104 E. Baltimore St. are finished. A lease agreement with property owner JAG Management LLC took effect Oct. 1 and workmen arrived immediately to begin fitting the facility to the specifications of the couple.

John Flannery announced Sept. 13 that he was interested in expanding his business. Antrim House owners Loren and Carissa Martin closed the 31-year-old restaurant Sept. 20, citing fixed expenses that exceeded revenue. They had purchased the restaurant in 2008. It was started in 1979 by Donald Hummer.

Flannery bought the kitchen equipment, trucks and computer system from the Martins.

The fate of the historic building on the corner of East Baltimore Street and Washington Street has been of great interest to the community. Flannery is going to maintain the suspense a bit longer.

"We're going to keep the name of the restaurant under wraps for a little while," he said Friday.

The menu has not been finalized, but he knows the parameters he will follow. "We will not offer a buffet. We don't believe in that. Food that sits out for hours is not fresh. And we are not a diner."

He planned to follow the procedures of Flannery's, obtaining quality foods and supplies from as many local businesses as possible, many within a 30 mile radius.

And the Greencastle eatery will be different than the one in Mercersburg.

"We will not compete with ourself," Flannery said. "We will not repeat anything on the menu here that is on Flannery's menu."

His executive chef and general manager, Jeremy Jones, will be the general manager in Greencastle as well. Already Jones has been grooming staff for the new place. Job applications are still being accepted, and employees will learn the trade at the established restaurant before moving over to Greencastle.

"Jeremy will create the menu and train the staff to provide quality food and service. That is his forte'," said Flannery.

He expected the restaurant to employ 20 to 30 people, eight of them fulltime. And Flannery will continue with his main responsibility, marketing the two facilities.

Greencastle plans

Flannery has applied for a liquor license for Greencastle. He has one in Mercersburg, where he serves wine and beer. He posted a notice on the window and will ask borough council for a public hearing, a required step before the license is issued.

"It's important for people to know we have no desire to be a bar," he said. "We encourage responsible consumption of fine wines or a great craft beer with dinner."

He will serve lunch and dinner, with breakfast under consideration. He explained the difficulty of serving two quality meals each day, and three would be even harder. Few restaurants serve all day long, he said, but they are examining the possibility.

He plans to grow his custom catering business and is excited that Greencastle will have double the space of Mercersburg, plus a banquet hall. He is  already getting calls for wedding receptions in 2011.

Cosmetic changes are underway, and Flannery hopes the new restaurant will "wow" people.

"They will be surprised when they see it," he predicted.

Flannery's, in operation for five years, attracts clientele from Hagerstown, Greencastle, Chambersburg, and even greater distances. It is also a favorite spot for many metropolitan-area residents who ski at Whitetail. He feels fortunate they like Flannery's so much, and he's working for the same reception in Greencastle.

"Perfect guest service is very important to us," he stated. "We are family-oriented and want to be a place where friends gather, where people are comfortable and come to relax and enjoy themselves."

John and Ame Flannery, both 40, have one son, Jonathan, 14.

File photo of the building that has housed the Antrim House since 1979.