Published 3/2011 – The Day – Patricia Daddona
The younger Diarmuid Hanafin is planning to open a second Hanafin’s Public House in Glastonbury sometime in July.
Diarm, or “D2,” as he is known, is the 27-year-old manager of the award-winning pub at 312 State St. in New London that is owned by his father, Diarmuid Hanafin.
The younger Hanafin signed a lease for the Glastonbury property in the center of town last Thursday, and is hiring an Irish pub designer from Bray, Ireland, named Angela Murphy to give the new place an authentic country pub feel.
“When we found the property, we started researching the type of pub we wanted,” the son said. “We wanted to go with a cottage-y vibe, as opposed to a city feel.”
The new pub, which the younger Hanafin is investing in on his own, will take the same name as the city pub, but the senior Hanafin is quick to emphasize that his own roots are in New London and the city pub will stay put.
“My heart is in New London, so this is a project for the young guy,” said the elder Hanafin.
Last year, Irishbeerfinder.com voted Hanafin’s the best Irish pub in Connecticut and the younger Hanafin is seeking to extend that reputation to the Glastonbury building at 21 Rankin Road.
The one-story structure is 7,000 square feet with a patio and a 50-car parking lot and has virtually no similar competitors in that area, father and son said.
“The Hanafin brand has a great reputation,” said the senior Hanafin. “And he’s taking that to a bigger market, almost to the capital. It’s 10 minutes from Hartford.”
Diarm Hanafin has researched the demographics of the area and income reports, zeroing in on Glastonbury in part because he plays soccer there.
He also has been collecting antiques for years with an eye to starting his own business and has accumulated a basement full of bric-a-brac ranging from hurricane lamps, church pews and beer taps to an antique spirit jug from Waterford, Ireland, and a 1920s telephone.
“Finally, I get rid of all this stuff, yes!” said his father as he walked through the basement collection.
Networking and embracing people are two of the tools of the trade the son has learnd from his father. His brothers, Liam, 20, a cook and student at the University of Connecticut, and Dean, 30, a carpenter, will help as they do most of the work themselves to get the Glastonbury building ready to open, the son said.
The younger Hanafin also has learned a great deal from his father by managing the New London pub, the father said.
“He’s really very much hands on, has been from Day 1,” Hanafin said, “so this is an opportunity he’s going to take to the next level.”