WXXI AM News

"Olie's" close to reopening in Irondequoit

Aug 31, 2017

They're still working on renovating Silk O'Laughlin's in Summerville
Credit Alex Crichton

A popular neighborhood bar on the Genesee River in Irondequoit is about to open for the first time this summer, after flood waters closed the establishment back in May.

Mike McKeon runs Silk O'Laughlin's at the end of St. Paul Blvd.

He says the water from Lake Ontario started coming into the restaurant in May, and McKeon had to wait until it receded before work could finally begin on renovating the pub.

"To prevent mold, we took the walls off, the drywall behind it, the insulation.  And then as we waited we said well, let's take the ceiling down.  I had the ceiling off and my heat is up there and the guy who does my heating said that's 15 years old and might as well pull it.  I didn't have that in the expectations. We're blowing in insulation, we did new windows. So we took a negative and turned it into a positive," he said.

All this happened during the summer, when he does most of his business.

Mike McKeon says he's thankful for all the community support he's received

"Probably 75, 80 percent of my business for the year is May through September. It's cool now, but maybe September and October we'll have a nice Indian Summer," he said.

In addition to all the interior work, a group of union workers volunteered to install a new outdoor deck at the bar.

Jack Lynch has owned the building for 35 years, and says the community has come through with tremendous support.

"The restaurants around here have given us food, and they bring drinks and that, different people helping us out, a lot of volunteers. You know, the community just comes together," he said.

Lynch says they haven't calculated how much the renovations may cost, but they will apply for state aid that the Governor has made available to businesses.

The owners provided the supplies, and union workers installed the outdoor deck for no charge

McKeon is just hoping this never happens again.

"No, no.  That would be totally devastating," he said.