"De Vere’s Irish Pub, a locally owned downtown business founded in the midst of the recession, will open its second location at the end of the summer in the space that was formerly the home of Soga’s in Davis.
“We’re excited,” said co-owner Simon de Vere White. “We’ve been eying Davis for a long time.”
The new space, at 217 E St. in downtown Davis, is 4,800 square feet, about 1,000 square feet bigger than the Sacramento pub.
His brother, co-owner Henry de Vere White, said the expansion is a risk, but one he hopes will prove as successful as the current location on 15th and L streets in Sacramento.
“I think we filled a niche here in Sacramento," Simon de Vere White said, adding that the brothers hope to do the same in Davis.
The basic concept will be the same, as they said community involvement at all levels is important to success.
“We are a neighborhood Irish pub,” Henry de Vere White said. “We do lunch and dinner, and you see the little ones coming in, and then at night it gets a little bit (of an older crowd).”
According to Christi Skibbins, executive director of the Davis Chamber of Commerce, E Street is often referred to as “Eat Street.”
“E Street is a street a lot of people call Eat Street because there are so many restaurants and bars,” she said. “It will be a good spot for them. They’re right across from E Street Plaza, so there is plenty of parking, and it has easy access from all of Davis.”
The Davis pub will have the same menu as de Vere’s in Sacramento when it comes to drinks and food, but possibly with more emphasis on hamburgers with the large student population, Simon de Vere White said.
“It’s too early to tell, but that’s something we will work out when we get closer to opening,” he added.
Activities like the popular Monday night trivia challenge will be carried over to the Davis location as well.
The décor will be similar, as family friends in Ireland will once again be designing the interior space.
“This whole pub was built in Ireland then broken down and shipped over here,” Henry de Vere White said Monday in the Sacramento pub. “All the decorations on the walls are replicas of family items from Ireland.”
Authenticity is important to the brothers, with Simon being born in Ireland and Henry being born in Boston – the first one born in America from a family that traces its Irish heritage back to the year 1140.
The brothers have been living in Sacramento since 1985.
“In here, we have high ceilings, but in Davis, the ceilings are much lower,” Henry de Vere White said. “This is typical of a Victorian pub in downtown Dublin, but the Davis one will have more of a neighborhood feel.”
Philippe Masoud is the owner of two restaurants with locations in both Sacramento and Davis – Crepeville and Burgers and Brew. He said he expects the pub to be successful as well, since the same types of places appeal to both cities.
“Davis is a really good town for us. Sacramento took us longer to be discovered,” he said, adding that he opened his businesses in Davis first.
One challenge to doing business in Davis that Sacramento doesn’t face, however, is that business slows down considerably in summer, when the college students are on break, he said.
But that can be overcome, he said, adding, “I think they will do really good.”
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.