Gerard Kieran (Gerry)

From Dundalk

Do you have a family here with you? 

No, no family here, just me, my lovely missus Kelly, our wee rescue dog Pookie and our adopted cat, Kitty. My parents are both passed, I have 4 older sisters, 2 older brothers and many nieces and nephews still in Ireland. 

Where did you grow up ?  

Dundalk, County Louth- a dodgy border town that straddles the Norther Ireland border, approximately 50 miles from Dublin and 50 miles from Belfast

When did you move to Charleston and where do you live? 

I moved to Charleston in the spring of 1998 and have lived on Folly Beach, James Island, downtown, Wadmalaw and currently reside in a self renovated ranch style house that sits on a lovely 4 acres on Johns Island 

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Seanachai

Where else have you lived in the US ? 

When I left Ireland I moved to the very “romantic” Myrtle Beach, SC, for a couple years. I then moved to Southie Boston (before it got trendy), Sarasota, FL, after that and then landed on Folly Beach. 

Why did you move to Charleston ?

My ex-missus was from Folly Beach.

What do you like about Charleston ?

I love the architecture of the city, the great oaks, sunrises on Folly, the ability to always be able to have a wee swim or surf, the great friends I’ve made over the years, both old and new, and the opportunities it has presented me. I consider myself extremely lucky to have such a wonderful community of people surrounding me.

Tell us about your business/work ? 

My first 12 years in Charleston I worked for fine dining restaurants downtown and I had started wanting to have my own wee place. A vacant space came available on Johns Island (when Johns Island was still rural) in a little strip mall and so my missus and I decided to create an authentic Irish pub. We traveled to Ireland for 17 days visiting lots of wee country pubs for inspiration and the Seanachai was born. Named so because the Irish love their stories and Seanachai means “Storyteller” in Gaelic. Even in year 8, we have no TVs to ensure the craic continues (there’s a sneaky TV out back as of 2018 for a game here and there). It’s traditional in every sense except what’s served from behind the bar which is definitely more personal as I’m quite passionate about creative cocktails, quality beers and great whiskeys. Basically I created a pub that I would want to go to. 

My other wee business, The Big Egg (formerly Tasty Brunch), is at the Charleston Farmers Market. I started it in 2003 with the help of another fellow Irishman Jack and his then wife Rachel. My long time friend, Alan, and I cook brunch there every Saturday from April to December. My emphasis is on omelettes and shrimp and grits. 

Where is the first place in Charleston that you bring visitors ? 

I enjoy taking folks for a walk or bike ride downtown, to Folly for a walk or swim and to Rockville for a wee sunset. 

Anything else you want to tell us ?

My 2 favorite days of the year: Thanksgiving and New Years Day, this is my time to be off work and get together with some of my longest friends in Charleston. I’m very fortunate to have the support and love from both the Irish and American community. We are nothing without other people. 

Seanachai Whiskey & Cocktail Bar is located on Johns Island & The Big Egg is at the Farmer’s Market downtown every Saturday from April until December or for private events.

You can contact Gerry at  843 557 4521 info@seanachaiwhiskeyandcocktailbar.com

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