Poler’s Pub will open Monday in Medina at former O’Briens
MEDINA – A historic building on Medina’s Main Street, which has been a favorite gathering place for locals for more than a century, will reopen Monday with a new look and a new name.
The former O’Brien’s has been purchased and remodeled by Ethan Poler and his dad Jim. It will open at 11 a.m. Monday as Poler’s Pub.
Built in 1902 for Edward Kelly, the building at 610 Main St. has had several names, but it has always been a bar, according to information in a book, Medina Through Time, by Frederick Fierch of Middleport.
By the 1930s it was known as O’Brien and Kelly, run by Francis O’Brien and John Kelly, and later as the Marble Grill. It appears there was a period when there were two businesses there, as there are pictures of the Horseshoe Grill painted on the north window of the building.
Ethan, who was working for All Metal Works in Gasport designing steel structures, has wanted to open his own business for quite a while.
“Back when I was in the Army I told my buddies I was going to open a bar,” Ethan said. “I really wasn’t serious, but now it’s actually going to happen.”
He and his father had been looking at several different places last fall when Ethan drove by 610 Main St. and saw the “For sale” sign on the building.
After contacting the owner, they struck a deal and began to plan their renovations.
The bar was all green inside, even with green carpet around the bar, said Ethan’s uncle John Poler. There was a “box” on the ceiling above the bar, and when they tore it out a bone-handled barber’s straight razor fell out.
Behind the draft cooler, they found a yellowed envelope addressed to O’Brien and Kelly with war posters of Allied adversaries – Hitler, Mussolini and Yamamoto. When the Polers took down a beam, a horseshoe fell out, no doubt from the days when the Horseshoe Bar was on the north end of the building. In the basement they found the rusted cash register which is in a picture of O’Brien when he opened his business there in the early 1900s.
For months now, the Polers, with help from family and friends, have been remodeling the interior. They tore out partitions to make a larger kitchen, painted the original wainscoting, took the carpet off the bar, painted the exterior and hired a contractor to wrap all the dormers in aluminum. A fenced-in area will provide seating at umbrella tables.
“We saved a lot of money by doing the work ourselves,” John said.
He and his uncle John have been there almost every day, and Jim, who still works as used car manager for Hartway Motors, is there as much as he can.
They have installed three 70-inch TVs, an electronic dart machine, jukebox and ATM.
At first, they will offer a limited menu of pub food, in addition to beer and mixed drinks, but may expand the menu as time goes on. They are also thinking about the possibility of starting a dart league.
Poler’s Pub is scheduled to open on Monday. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week, but that could change, Ethan said.