Pete and Cindy Viehman plan to open McGourty’s Pub in Tryon this Saturday, Nov. 30. The pub has been a lifelong dream of Pete Viehman’s, whose great-grandfather opened a McGourty’s Pub in Ireland in the late 1880s. (photos by Kirk Gollwitzer)
Pete and Cindy Viehman plan to open McGourty’s Pub in Tryon this Saturday, Nov. 30. The pub has been a lifelong dream of Pete Viehman’s, whose great-grandfather opened a McGourty’s Pub in Ireland in the late 1880s. (photos by Kirk Gollwitzer)

Archived Story

McGourty’s Irish Pub to open Nov. 30 on N. Trade

Published 11:10pm Sunday, November 24, 2013

When Pete Viehman was 11 years old, he had a dream that one day he would open an Irish pub and model it after his fore-father’s establishment in Ireland.

In 1886, Viehman’s great-grandfather, Thomas Viehman, owned and operated McGourty’s Pub, still in operation today in Leitrim County Ireland.

Cindy and Pete Viehman
Cindy and Pete Viehman

Later his grandfather carried on the pub tradition when he immigrated to Steubenville, Ohio.
Pete Viehman placed a lot of significance in his childhood dream as he now prepares to open McGourty’s Irish Pub on Nov. 30 in downtown Tryon.

To both Pete and Cindy Viehman, an Irish Pub is defined as not only a purveyor of fine beers including Guinness but also a place where people can come and socialize.

“We are striving for a friendly-fun atmosphere where people will come back time and time again and become part of our new legacy,” said Viehman.

Cindy Viehman said, “We just thought that Tryon needed a watering hole that stays open late and brings life to Tryon.”

The Viehmans, along with their partner Rich Nelson, decided to open the bar in the form of a private club. Viehman said operating as a private club bypasses many business requirements that can be show-stoppers for many entrepreneurs. Viehman said private clubs are expected to sell liquor, but are not required to comply with a standard bar requirement of 45 percent alcohol to 55 percent food sales.

Viehman also said operating the pub as a club avoids stringent requirements by the health department, which range from the way fruit is cut to the minimum lighting level within the establishment.

Pete, who is affectionately known as “The Pete,” by his close friends, is a carpenter by trade and has been meticulously constructing his pub by hand for the last three years. Viehman gathered, cut and milled more than 12,000 board-feet of lumber from the local area.

“We been able to save more than $60,000 in high-quality lumber costs, which includes white and red oak, cherry, ash and maple,” said Pete.

Every aspect of the 2,600 square-foot, two-story building on Trade St. is custom paneled by Viehman.

“Drinks will also be served on the second floor, which will be our game room, complete with shuffleboards, darts and trivia games planned in the future,” said Pete Viehman.

The Viehmans say a food menu may be planned for the future, but for now the offerings will be limited to liquor, beer, wine and standard bar snacks.

Pete Viehman said McGourty’s would always have two bartenders pulling beer from 11 craft beer taps and three waitresses circulating a possible capacity crowd of about 150 thirsty patrons. Once McGourty’s becomes fully operational, Viehman said they expect to employ as many as seven people.

Cindy Viehman said the support from local officials has been wonderful.

“We have had 100 percent support from everyone from the city manager to the mayor and the chief of police,” said Viehman.

The Viehmans said they appreciate the community spirit and want McGourty’s to be a place the town is proud to say is a part of Tryon.

“We are planning on promoting a get-home-safe policy and embracing the theme of drinking responsibly. We have always thought that a taxi service in Tryon would be a great benefit to the patrons and dining establishment in Tryon and also a great business opportunity for someone wanting to get into the taxi business,” said Cindy Viehman.

McGourty’s Irish Pub is located at 74 N. Trade Street in Tryon. For more information call 828-817-2993 or visit

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  • dw

    Congratulations! Pete & Cindy!

    May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea (and fine craft beer!) beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.

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