Beef ‘O’ Brady’s family sports restaurant coming to Helena

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–An established sports restaurant chain known for Irish-inspired food, a wide range of menu items and a company that prides itself around family will be opening in the coming months in Helena.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, which was established in 1985 in Brandon, Florida has expanded and grown over the last few decades and the Helena Beef ‘O’ Brady’s will be the newest franchise for the family sports restaurant.

The Helena Beef ‘O’ Brady’s will occupy the space formerly known as Papa Saia’s in Old Town Helena. Papa Saia’s is returning to Alabaster after operating in Helena since 2012.

The week of Jan. 16, demolition work began on the building located at 4300 Helena Road and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s owner George McCluney said his team is currently remodeling the kitchen and bar, repairing wood and also working to add all new furniture.

At the Jan. 23, Helena City Council meeting, the council unanimously approved the liquor license request for the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant.

Helena Mayor Mark Hall is happy to see another business open in the Old Town area.

“I’m very pleased to see an established restaurant brand, like Beef ‘O’ Brady’s come to Helena,” Hall said. “I feel confident the restaurant will do well and will help bring more visitors to the Old Town section of our city. I appreciate the owner’s confidence in our city and I am very excited to see this great new restaurant open.”

McCluney, who has been a Birmingham resident nearly his entire adult life, will be opening his second Beef ‘O’ Brady’s franchise after opening his first franchise at the Grove Shopping Center in Hoover in 2010.

McCluney cited the family-oriented feel and the growing community as some reasons for opening a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Helena.

“Just over the years and living here pretty much my whole adult life, I’ve noticed that Helena is very similar to Hoover was 10-15 years ago in that it’s very family-oriented,” McCluney said. “It is so similar in a lot of ways to Hoover in that it supports youth athletics and is a family environment. When you see families demanding such good facilities for their kids for schools, it just tells you that it’s a really growing, vibrant family community and that’s one thing that goes hand-in-hand with the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s model.”

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s or simply referred to as “Beef’s” has a wide range of menu items including sharable appetizers, award-winning wings, seafood dishes, tacos, angus burgers, burrito’s and wraps, sandwiches, pizzas, desserts and more.

McCluney said the restaurant offers a rotating daily value option and will also offer a wide range of beverages including beer, wine and liquor. More than 20 beers will be on tap including many local beers.

Now that McCluney has owned the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Hoover for more than seven years he said his favorite thing has been that he has established a “community environment” and wishes to do the same in Helena.

“The fact that we’ve created such a community environment is my favorite thing,” McCluney said. “Anytime someone comes in, they can count on seeing their friend or someone they know to hang out and talk to. Some of the most rewarding things have been when we’ve had people who have met here as strangers and have grown strong friendships and have gone on to be friends outside of here. From a personal standpoint, we’ve got people who started working for us when they were 16 and we’ve seen them go through high school and into college and even seen them go off and start families so it’s really rewarding.”

McCluney has plans to fully utilize the approximately 7,000 square-foot space in Helena that will include indoor and outdoor seating, live music and more.

“The space allows us to have a lot more flexibility,” McCluney said. “We can have music inside or outside and we’re going to build a nice stage at the bar area and build one out on the patio. We’re going to be non-smoking and we’re not going to have the pool tables anymore.”

A big part of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is the restaurant’s involvement with youth sports teams and supporting community organizations.

“We’ll have events at the restaurant and give the organization a certain percentage of the sales and it also allows us to grow our business. It’s kind of a win-win for both of us,” McCluney said.

In addition to supporting youth teams and organizations, McCluney said numerous part-time jobs would be available to younger members of the community looking to gain experience in the workforce.

“We’ll have opportunities for students for part-time work because to me it’s such a valuable experience,” McCluney said. “I just think it’s a valuable experience for kids to learn how to interact with the public and I just treat it like I’m a teacher or a mentor for theses kids when they come in. You learn how to deal with people from all walks of life and every personality type and it’s just a good way to learn early on.”

When asked if he had a message for the people of Helena, McCluney was adamant that Beef ‘O’ Brady’s would be a local restaurant where he is fully involved in the business.

“I want people to be rest assured that we’re local,” McCluney said. “I’ve lived here all my life and I’ll be hands-on and be there everyday as part of the organization. We’ll be very much a part of the community and be a quality place for families to come and gather. That’s the biggest thing I want Helena people to understand.”

The target date for the restaurant to open is sometime in April, according to McCluney.

For more information on Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, visit Beefobradys.com.