Clifton’s Shannon Rose Gets ‘Fresh Look’ After 15 Years

One of northern New Jersey’s favorite Irish pubs reopened after a makeover celebrating its 15th anniversary.

The Shannon Rose
The Shannon Rose in Clifton reopened on September 15 with a brand-new look. Photo courtesy of Julie Stapen Photography

Allendale-based Doherty Enterprises opened Clifton’s Shannon Rose over a decade ago. The family-run business owns and operates 135 restaurants across four states, the majority being Applebee’s and Panera Bread franchises.

The Shannon Rose, meanwhile, is a popular Irish pub. It just celebrated its 15th anniversary by remodeling and reopening on September 15. There’s now a new look on the outside and a redesigned bar and new furniture on the inside. Plus, there are some drink and menu additions.

“After Covid, we felt like the pub needed a fresh look,” says Tim Doherty, president and COO of Doherty Enterprises. “We wanted to make the brand feel more modern but stay true to who we are.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the reopening. We are so proud of how it looks and of our team members for making it happen.”

What is it like doing business with family?
Tim Doherty: It is not without its challenges, but fortunately, we get along very well. We are all very passionate about the business. Our mission statement is to wow our staff, wow our guests and wow our communities every time they step into one of our restaurants. My two sisters, my father, my mother and I all live by that. Any challenges that arise are only because we are trying to get better and better. It’s very rewarding.

What’s the difference between working in a franchise versus your own brand?
The world is our oyster with our specialty brands. If we want to change the menu or try something new, we can do that. It gives us the ability to let our creativity flow.

Where did the idea for the Shannon Rose originate?
I have two younger sisters, Shannon and Carrie, who are both very involved in the business. Fifteen years ago, Shannon developed The Shannon Rose Irish Pub. My father had recruited her to develop the brand in the Clifton Commons.

What was the reason for the grand reopening in Clifton?
We have fortunately been very busy at the Shannon Rose for the last 15 years. When we went through Covid, our sales flattened out, and we wanted to build those back. The grand reopening was a balancing act between staying true to who we were and making the restaurant new and exciting.

What are you introducing?
We changed the exterior color, added some lighting inside, changed furniture—it really needed some love and attention. We developed the pub 15 years ago. How people want to eat, and the aesthetics, have changed over that time.

What has been your biggest challenge?
The restaurant industry has obviously been greatly impacted by Covid. Our biggest challenge became making sure we had the right people in the right place to service our guests. It’s been a very interesting three years, but we have the support and help of so many great people.

Do you have a favorite memory?
My favorite day is Saint Patrick’s Day at the Shannon Rose. I am typically doing a balancing act of working it and enjoying it! It’s always so loud and fun, and everyone is Irish that day. I wish every day was Saint Patrick’s Day!

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