Chalk up one more piece of Troy's past being brought back to life with enthusiasm.For a change, it does not include the mover-shaker team isn't Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine who have renovated several historic downtown buildings and made them commercially viable. In this instance it is the rebirth of the Trojan Hotel and the introduction of the O'Brien's Public House segment of it.
On Tuesday (May 20), the husband-wife team of by Donald and Terry O'Brien will host the grand re-opening of the once-iconic Troy watering hole and restaurant located at 43 Third Street. And, they'll be doing it with a theme. A local blogger who wishes to remain anonymous had been doubting on social media that the O'Briens would succeed in their restoration efforts. Since they succeeded, he agreed to eat crow and make amends by forking over $200 helping cover complimentary drinks (beer, wine or regular drink) to the first 40 people showing up for the party that begins at 5 p.m.
The O'Briens plan to maintain the "eating crow" theme by serving slices of a life-size crow cake, made by the pastry artist Susan Dunkel of Sweet Sues. In addition, a cocktail called "Humble Pie" will be available. "It's been a lot of work, but it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears to get this beautiful old building back open," said Terry O'Brien. "Some people didn't believe we’d be able to do it. The Internet comments got pretty nasty for a while, but those only motivated us even more to see this through."
The O'Briens purchased the 19,269 square-foot, 19th Century building last fall. It had been vacant for about a decade. Since then they haven been doing much of the restoration work on the building and its 1901 hotel addition. They have been serving drinks since March in the first-floor barroom, officially called O'Briens Public House at the Historic Trojan Hotel. Last month, they began kitchen service, and they now are restoring the large ballroom in the rear annex of the building with an eye toward opening it as event space in June. The O'Brien family -- Donald, Terry, Ali and DJ -- ran O'Briens Public House for 20 months at 443 Fifth Avenue in the 'Burgh until closing last June.
O'Briens is open seven days a week: Monday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. till close (kitchen 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.); Thursday through Saturday, noon until close (kitchen noon until 9 p.m.); Sunday, noon until close (kitchen noon until 8 p.m.) The menu features pub fare and entrees, ranging from $8 to $16, including shepherd's pie, crab cakes, burgers, Reubens, spinach dip, potato cakes with smoked salmon, plus salads and revolving specials.