After 10 years of serving its signature Scottish eggs and Moscow mule cocktails, Martins West Gastropub — one of the first restaurants associated with the revitalization of Redwood City — is calling it quits.
“There have been a lot of good times in here. It’s been a great ride,” said General Manager Jacob Carlos. “We want to thank our customers. We couldn’t have been luckier for the regulars we’ve had. They’ve been incredibly loyal and gracious and overall really nice people.”
Carlos said Martins West is closing because of a variety of factors, including staffing shortages due in part to high rents on the Peninsula, a rising minimum wage and almost constant construction on nearby streets. He also said the concept may have simply run its course.
“Restaurants have life spans and we think this one kind of ran its term,” he said. “We lasted 10 years, which is double the length that 75% of restaurants last.”
Located at 831 Main St., Martins West will serve its last customers on Saturday and starting Monday, a new Irish-themed concept called Alhambra Irish House will take over the space.
The new concept is named after the Alhambra Theater, which occupied the same building in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and once hosted gunslinger Wyatt Earp. The historic building was later used by the Masonic Order for 45 years and then it was vacant for roughly 20 years after that, Carlos said. Martins West moved into the space in 2009 and the business has changed ownership several times since then. The latest owner, Erik Barry, also owns Irish pub St. Stephen’s Green in Mountain View.
The restaurant’s interior and menu will become increasingly Irish-themed in the coming months, but neither will see drastic change, said Mark Kelly, general manager of Alhambra Irish House.
“The Irish are coming,” he said, adding that the transition will be gradual and will not occur overnight. “We’re very excited about taking over this great space. The key is to take what [St. Stephen’s Green] does well there and take what [Martins West] does well here and we’ll meet somewhere in the middle.”
The most significant interior change is the physical bar will be extended by about a third its current size. Guinness will of course be offered on tap, Irish whiskeys will be added to an already extensive whiskey program and eventually the bar will be outfitted with a new draft system offering 40 beers on tap, Kelly said.
The menu will maintain its current offerings, at least at first, plus a variety of new appetizers, including smoked salmon, homemade soda bread and sausage rolls. New entrees to be offered on day one include steak and Guinness pie, sausage and colcannon, and chicken curry. More dishes will be added to the menu in the coming months.
“Every time people come, they’ll see something new,” Kelly said.
The space will also be equipped with a handful of TVs playing every sporting event one can think of, including rugby and soccer games. Kelly also hopes to install a parklet in front of the restaurant.
Alhambra Irish House will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day but Sundays.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102