Winter Park Irish pub pours on traditional St. Paddys celebration
March 15, 2009
By Cyndi McCoySky-Hi Daily NewsWhen new owner Jason Clark took over at the former Randis Irish Saloon last February, he knew right off the bat he would have Gary Key continue to play that next month and for St. Patricks Days to come.Keys a staple, Clark said. Key is an appropriate fit for the place, he added. Hes part of the feel, part of the atmosphere.Key, famed as the Walking Jukebox in the Fraser Valley where he lives and plays music, guesses he has been playing at Randis on St. Patricks Day for about six years now. Its kind of like a tradition, an unspoken thing, he said, adding that its usually a wonderful crowd. Playing there March 17 each year is a great thing.An admitted Heinz 57, he thinks hes got a little Irish in there and says everyone gets to be Irish on March 17. Although Irish music is not part of his usual repertoire, as the nickname states hes kind of a chameleon when it comes to music.He said hell probably play some John Prine stuff, maybe some sea chanties, and classic tunes like Danny Boy for the annual celebration. Festivities also include a door prize, green Harps, and Guinness swag/giveaways from Beverage Distributing.The days entertainment also includes a specialty menu (along with the regular menu), prepared by Chef Eddie Coulombe. Were psyched to have him, he said of Coulombe. Special occasions like the upcoming St. Patricks Day, he continued, gives Coulombe an opportunity to highlight the chefs true culinary expression.The days specials include an Irish-style breakfast with homemade corned beef hash, eggs, two Irish bangers (Irish sausage) and rye toast; the classic corned beef and cabbage dish (with the brisket slow braised in Smithwichs beer), grilled Irish bangers with mashed potatoes (topped with Guinness onion gravy) and minted peas.This past month Clark celebrated his first-year anniversary at the Irish pub. Clark, an avid Nordic skate skier, had been coming up from Denver since 1990. For several years he ran fine dining at the Penrose Room at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs (he also served as the sommelier).When he found out Randis was for sale, he stopped by, liked the vibe and atmosphere, and fell in love with the place. Since that proud day he closed on the business, he said hes tried to make it his own. Hes focused on improving the food quality, changing about half the menu. He also has changed the look and the feel of the place (extending the parking lot, adding a back patio area and booths, and put in almost all new equipment in the kitchen).For his first year he said hes met a lot of great people along the way that have helped him out. You treat people good, have a good product and good price and youll be successful. He feels hes been going in the right direction and that at the end of the day its still Randis with my flair.