Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Business

May 11, 2014

An Irish pub returns to Peru in Smitty Mcmusselman's

After intense renovations, Smitty Mcmusselman's brings back Irish food and atmosphere to Peru

Smitty Mcmusselman’s serves a huge variety of craft beers, whiskey, scotch and cocktails, but it’s not a bar, according to its co-owner, Sara Musselman.

It’s an Irish pub. The difference?

“We don’t want to be known as a bar,” Musselman said. “We’re a pub. It’s a very comfortable, warm, friendly environment where people can come and have a pint, get together and enjoy a really good meal.”

That’s exactly what crowds of people have been doing since the new restaurant opened in early April at 202 S. Broadway, Peru.

It’s easy to see why the pub, affectionately called Smitty’s by the people who have already become regulars in the last month, is more than just a bar. It feels like a place you’d find wandering around the Irish countryside.

Hardwood floors, rustic tables and chairs and a large bar made of native maple make it feel like it’s been around for centuries.

Old beer, whiskey and wine bottles serve has light shades for the bulbs hanging over the bar. In one corner, an old Jameson Irish Whiskey barrel serves as a makeshift table.

“People come in here and say they don’t feel like they’re in Peru anymore,” said Christina Smith, who co-owns the restaurant. “They feel transported.”

The pub feels old, and that isn’t by accident. Co-owners Smith and Musselman, whose names make up the restaurant’s moniker, purposefully created an antique atmosphere during a six-month renovation project that transformed the more than century-old building into the pub.

It wasn’t an easy task.

“This building has been an eyesore for decades,” Musselman said. “It needed some love and attention, but we knew we could do it justice and bring it back to life and make the town proud.”

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