A Public Offering
Story and photos by Gregg McQueen
Niall Henry loves craft beer.
And he’s counting on plenty of other people in Inwood liking it too.
Henry, along with business partner Shean Carbin, have just launched the Tryon Public House, a craft beer bar at 4740 Broadway, near Thayer Street.
“The reason we call it Public House is because it’s really for everyone in the community,” he explained. “We want to be a welcoming environment to all, a neighborhood place where people can grab a good beer and catch up with friends.”
When it comes to selling suds, you could say Henry knows what he’s doing — he has tended bar much of his life, has owned several pubs and even helped found Bronx Brewery in 2011.
He and Carbin, who met playing in a local Gaelic football league, felt that the neighborhood needed an establishment that specialized in locally made craft brews.
Carbin, a flooring contractor who frequently took on contracting jobs in Inwood, was unimpressed with the pub offerings nearby.
“After work, the guys would be looking for a place to grab a beer, and we didn’t feel there was a place like this to go to,” he said.
The Tryon Public House features 12 taps, 11 of which will be devoted to craft beers, with an emphasis on regional offerings from Dyckman Beer Company and Bronx Brewery.
“We’re trying to keep it as local as possible, so most of our drafts will be from New York State, if not New York City,” explained Henry.
But the 12th tap is reserved for that Irish nectar, Guinness Draft.
“My family would kill me if I didn’t serve Guinness,” remarked Henry.
Around 10 bottled beers will also be available, including popular fare such as Budweiser and Coors.
“We want to have something to please everyone,” said Henry.
The pub will also offer wine and hard liquors, with a focus on the bourbon selection, he added.
Though the Public House will not serve food for the first few weeks while the bar gets up and running, eventually customers can dine on an array of appetizers and American pub fare.
There will be no hookahs, insisted Henry, and there are no plans to feature live music — the goal is to focus on the social aspects of pub life.
“I hate going to bars and not being able to talk to people because it’s too loud,” remarked Carbin. “We want this to be a place to socialize.”
The Public House is based across the street from Fort Tryon Park, at the former site of three vacant stores, which were combined into one space.
Realizing that several neighboring bars have drawn the ire of local residents for noise issues and rowdy patrons, Henry said he met with Community Board 12 members several times during the planning process.
“We wanted to make sure they knew we weren’t going to be another nightclub,” he explained.
Their pitch satisfied community stakeholders enough to earn a license from the State Liquor Authority.
Construction on the site made tremendous progress over a two-month span, from October to December, and it opened officially this past Mon., Dec. 15th.
“Things came together surprisingly fast,” said Carbin.
The interior of the pub features wood flooring and bar tops, along with exposed brick. The walls feature historic images from the neighborhood, such as a picture of a Robert F. Kennedy campaign speech, and a photo of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who grew up in Dyckman Houses as Lew Alcindor, playing basketball in his youth.
“We want to tie into the history of the neighborhood,” said Henry.
While Henry and Carbin recognize that other Inwood establishments such as Indian Road Cafe and Inwood Local have already been on the forefront of introducing craft beers to the nabe, they feel there is room for one more.
“We think we can still offer something different,” said Henry.
The day before the opening, there was still much work to be done at the site — with Henry and Carbin’s own family members scurrying around to move furniture and apply finishing touches on paint jobs.
Henry surveyed the hectic scene, and wondered aloud if they’d finish in time.
“It will all be worth it when we’re open,” he remarked. “I can’t wait to see this place full of people enjoying themselves.”
Tryon Public House is located at 4740 Broadway, New York, NY 10040.
For more information, go to www.tryonpublichouse.com.