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VOL. 130 | NO. 119 | Friday, June 19, 2015

Celtic Crossing Updates Look, Goes Smoke-Free

By Andy Meek

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It’s been a decade since the sign above the front doors at Celtic Crossing – which reads “Cead mile failte,” a Gaellic phrase that means “a hundred thousand welcomes” – greeted the first visitors to the Irish pub in Midtown.

When it took over the Cooper-Young space at 903 S. Cooper St., formerly occupied by The Glass Onion, Celtic Crossing brought yet another eclectic, fresh restaurant concept to the mix of eateries at one of Memphis’ most culinary-focused intersections. It's had a long run since then, providing an inviting pub atmosphere for patrons who come to eat, drink, watch sports on TV and enjoy the company. And a week from today, the pub is kicking off a three-day 10-year anniversary celebration of when it first brought a taste of the Emerald Isle to Cooper-Young back in 2005 – a celebration that also includes some new touches at the pub.

Starting Monday, June 22, Celtic Crossing is temporarily shutting down to complete renovations that include updating the interior new custom-made and handcrafted furniture from Northern Ireland and new wall décor, among other things.

A week from today, Celtic Crossing is kicking off a three-day celebration of the restaurant first bringing a taste of the Emerald Isle to Cooper-Young back in 2005  – a celebration that also includes some new touches at the pub.

(Submitted Photo)

When the pub reopens Friday, June 26, it also is going smoke-free.

“When we reopen our doors, it will be with a newly renovated and smoke-free environment,” said DJ Naylor, who owns Celtic Crossing with his wife, Jamie Naylor. “Our hope is that with this move to smoke-free, more families will come enjoy our food and atmosphere during the day and early evening.”

The decision to institute a no-smoking policy – though smoking will still be allowed on the porch and outside – came partly in response to customer feedback and an interest among the owners to make the pub more family friendly.

It’s what patrons overwhelmingly told the owners they prefer, too. The pub gave a 10-question survey to patrons over three weeks earlier this spring. It was focused on their dining habits in relation to smoking preferences.

Not only did about 95 percent of responses favor going smoke-free, but Naylor also points to his daughter, now a year old, as inspiration for wanting to broaden the scope of who can enjoy the experience at Celtic Crossing.

The grand reopening bash the Naylors are hosting, meanwhile, gets under way at 4 p.m. June 26. Star & Micey will perform at 8 p.m., followed by DJ Tree at 10 p.m.

The pub says other anniversary surprises will be announced closer to the event. In an invitation on Facebook, there's a quote from playwright George Bernard Shaw. It reads, in part:

“Progress is impossible without change.”

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