O’Callahan’s is a lively place on many nights, with live music, regular poetry readings and more. Photo: Ed Johnson, KP News

At the hub of roads converging at the heart of Key Center stands a tall green and white sign: O’Callahan’s Pub and Grill.

Inside the building is a place for locals and tourists, friends, families, workers, and business owners to gather and socialize. They visit, dine, watch sports, play pulltabs and listen to music in a comfortable, convenient location. The pub features a variety of micro-brew beers and a good selection of wines, in addition to a full liquor bar.

“The fun begins here,” says a Mapquest map on the www.ocallahanspub.com website. Since purchasing the property and the business (formerly known as Key Center Saloon) in 2005, owner Greg Calahan has made significant improvements in the building, grounds, and menu. He installed a video surveillance system and computerized ‘point of sale’ inventory program.

Using mostly local labor, Calahan remodeled the kitchen, installed windows, and landscaped a garden, complete with an outdoor stage. Calahan now welcomes children to join their parents for breakfast, lunch, dinner and early evening entertainment. Earlier this winter, Calahan started a new event, “Working Women’s Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m., with special prices for the ladies,” he said.

On March 3, the pub will bring back Poet’s Beat Night featuring readings by local poets and writers, and music by local artists with original compositions. Weekends in  March will feature nine bands, including Soulstice, Junkyard Jane, Throttle Up, Rock-N-Roll Magic, and Tatoosh. Many local musicians join the country jam session every Tuesday night, the blues jam every Thursday night, and a country jam for the whole family every Sunday afternoon. Karoke with Gary continues into the evening on Sundays.  March 17, O’Callahan’s will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like any good Irish pub, with green beer and corned beef and cabbage. “The Whistlin’ Oysters will be back. This is their third year here,” Calahan said.

Calahan said he is an avid supporter of the local economy, and employs local residents. He donated parking lot space for the start-up Key Peninsula Farmer’s Market and provides live music to entertain and a barbecue on market days. This summer will bring opportunities for more outdoor activities. “I want to put in another window to lighten it up, and a door on the west wall, out to the horseshoe pits,” Calahan said.

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