The Irish Mafia Brewing Company celebrates one-year anniversary

EAST BLOOMFIELD — The luck of the Irish works in mysterious ways.

The grand opening of the Irish Mafia Brewing Company was delayed, but more bad news was on the way — shortly before opening, the nearby Nedloh Brewery closed up shop.

Throw in a few lessons about building maintenance and a health issue for owner Mark Mansfield, yes, it’s no wonder why he said he feels as if he’s been on a roller-coaster ride — and he’s learned a lot in his first year of business.

“Somebody used to tell me, all the best lessons in life cost the most money,” Mansfield said. “In that way, I should be a professor.”

Luck is important, but perseverance goes a long way in the restaurant and bar business.

This Sunday marks the official one-year anniversary of the Irish Mafia Brewing Co., although dinner specials, raffles, live music and a silent auction are planned all day Saturday. Visitors can enjoy $5 beer on tap, including the year-old standby, Mighty Ego IPA, as well as the new-ish loganberry wheat.

After the slow start a year ago, things picked up at the Whalen Road establishment when the temperatures began going down.

A busy winter season last year — thanks to skiers at Bristol Mountain — led to a summer season that saw the addition of an outdoor patio.

And along the way, the brewing company began to develop a following — for the food, which Mansfield said turned out to be a “great, fantastic surprise.”

A winter menu will be revealed soon, but many people rave about the burgers, mac and cheese, and poutine, said Chef George Boyd.

Reuben sandwiches also are popular go-to dishes. The sauerkraut is braised in the Irish Mafia’s Mighty Ego beer and the corned beef is slow roasted.

“It’s real good,” Boyd said.

Looking ahead, the addition of an event center is in the works, and Mansfield said the eventual opening of the Brooklyn-based Other Half Brewing, which is taking over the Nedloh location, will be more of a help than competition. One of Mansfield’s main reasons for getting the location in Toomey’s Corners was because Nedloh, which closed after about three years in business, was already here.

“When you share a corner, it becomes a destination,” Mansfield said. “With the Other Half coming in, it’s going to bring so many people to this area. It’s great for us. And it’s great for everybody in Bloomfield and the surrounding areas because people travel great distances to get their beer.”

And when visitors see the Other Half Rochester, as it will be known, they’ll also want to experience the Irish Mafia Brewing Company.

Mansfield, an Irish movie buff, was a sales exec on the road at the time he dreamed up the whole Irish Mafia saga — check the website at irishmafiabrewing.com for the story of brewer Willy of Cork — and decided to take the plunge into running his own place.

“Word of mouth has been our best friend, and a catchy name helps, even if it’s a little controversial,” Mansfield said. “People see it, they love it and they want to stop in and see what it’s about.”

Main Street eatery

Main Street, Canandaigua, may soon have another dining option.

Georges Vindigni, who is the former owner of Il Posto restaurant, sold that business and is now looking to open a new restaurant in the same storefront that used to house Aberle Eye Care, at 215 S. Main St.

Vindigni described it earlier this week to members of the Canandaigua City Planning Commission as a French bistro, with a separate bar area and table seating for 45.

According to Rick Brown, director of development and planning for the city, renovations will be done through the winter months and Vindigni hopes to open in the spring.

“Knowing Georges, it should be quite nice,” Brown said.

Left Right Left

Since Naked Dove Brewing released its Left Right Left double IPA on Veterans Day, 150 of the 250 cases had been sold as of Thursday, according to David Schlosser, brewmaster at the Hopewell microbrewery.

Left Right Left is made with a blend of hops that come from five veteran-owned breweries. Proceeds from the hops purchase go to Semper Fi, a post 9/11 veterans organization.

Naked Dove, wanting to help out those who have served the country, is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the Left Right Left sales to the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester.

Schlosser said more than $5,000 has been raised so far, and he expects that figure to reach more than $10,000. The beer can be purchased at Naked Dove on Routes 5 and 20, as well as at Wegmans in Canandaigua and Geneva and The Office and the Green Front Restaurant in Canandaigua.

“It’s going great,” Schlosser said.