The Irish Hill Tavern is taking over the former Vault Restaurant property on Clements Bridge Road in Runnemede. New Owner Ed Donohue is just weeks away from finishing the renovations, which include a new covered patio area, and interior bar renovations.
Ed wants everyone to know the Irish Hill Tavern is OPEN during the remodeling, but they are still finishing up their upgrade projects. if you visit now, be sure to come back in a month to see the finished projects!
The Irish Hill Tavern and the Donohue Legacy!
The mildly amusing thing is… the new signage went up with the new bar name just a little bit too early. It worked out best for the installers to put it up last week before the building remodeling was completed… and it became a beacon to the public “Hey, there is something new here!”.
Well there is something new… The Irish Hill Tavern, now owned and being remodeled by famed bar owner Ed Donohue. But it just needs a few more weeks to reach its final form! But that’s ok, feel free to stop in now for a cold beer and a delicious bite to eat. You can see the progress and what how things will change, but be sure to come back next month also to see it all complete!
If you don’t know the new owner Ed Donohue, he most recently was a partner in another newer Runnemede Bar and eatery, The Mile on the Black Horse Pike. Ed has parted ways from The Mile, and is putting all of his focus and effort into The Irish Hill Tavern!
Before that Donohue was the most active partner in Westmont’s former “The Irish Mile”.
Ed went from having 2 other partners at the Irish Mile, to one partner at The Mile, and now for The Irish Hill Tavern he is going at it alone!
Mark from 42Freeway stopped in a few days ago to chat with Ed about the plans for the bar, and to get an idea of when they are going to open.
I’m not going to lie… I saw the pictures on Facebook of the new signage and wondered “Oh wow, are they done with all of their remodeling?”, which made me stop in and check things out.
For my visit last week, the left half of the restaurant building’s dining area and bar were open, separated from the right side of the building by a black curtain.
The most distinctive new feature for the property is very obvious as you pull into the lot.. on the right side Ed has added a new covered outdoor patio.
I believe Ed said the patio adds 24 seats to the tavern, but he is changing some things around on the inside which will keep the overall capacity in line with when it was The Vault.
As mentioned, inside Ed and his crews are doing some things to freshen up the interior. And while I got to see what the full look and theme will be, he asked me to hold off on publishing any additional photos, wanting to save the surprise to customers for the big reveal once completed!
Ed and I chatted for over 30 minutes. Before he even know who I was, he greeted me with a big small and an outstretched hand.
When he realized I’ve picked up a thing or two about the South Jersey bar scene from both 42Freeway and time spent in a cover band… well, we just kept talking like old friends.
Ed explained his entire life he has been in the hospitality industry… bars, restaurants, delis and more.
Ed traces his start in the industry as a bartender in Rexy’s during their Broad Street Bully’s hey-day, when the Flyers NHL team made the bar their home base.
The Telford Inn… Ed was there bartending at the opening!
He’s owned businesses down the shore, pizza shops in Camden County
And even O’Hara’s in Gloucester City found success with Ed.
More than once over the last 10 years or so Ed thought he had found his final bar to own and manage. Now with the Irish Hill Tavern he’s a one man management show, and he is certain this is the one.
So yeah.. they are still open for business during construction. You can visit now. You can visit later. You can visit now and later.
We’ll be back when the construction is finished, and we’ll put up an updated post.
Links and Location
The Irish Hill Tavern / The Vault
810 E Clements Bridge Road
Runnemede NJ 08078