Twinsburg's Mavis Winkle's celebrates anniversary, St. Patrick's Day
Trip to Ireland inspires idea of opening an Irish pub 20 years ago
TWINSBURG – The owners of Mavis Winkle's will be doing more than celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year -- they also will be marking the 20th anniversary of the Twinsburg Irish pub.
Ed Hoegler, who assumed ownership of Mavis Winkle's in November 2019, along with his wife Tammy, said that the focus of the anniversary will be welcoming people back to the restaurant.
"We just want to invite people to come back," Hoegler said. "We will have music and dancers for St. Patrick's Day. We've known people who went on first date here, they are now married."
Hoegler said he first learned about the pub when he taught at Kent State University and had a student who worked at Mavis Winkle's. Until then, he said he had never heard of it.
While the pandemic has made it challenging for the restaurant industry, Hoegler said he is seeing more people coming back in.
"We are seeing families getting together, meeting," Hoegler said. "People are getting out. There are a lot of memories within the Mavis walls. I hear it all the time. People have a lot of memories they can share with each other."
Hoegler said that, weather permitting, the patio will be open for the St. Patrick's Day festivities.
Mary Jo Demopoulos, who first opened Mavis Winkle's with her husband Bill in 2001, said the restaurant's first day was on March 14 that year.
"We probably had 40 to 50 to begin with," Demopoulos said of the number of staff they started with. "It was a brand new buildout at the time. People were watching it, asking when it would be open."
There had been some delays in opening, Demopoulos said, but once it did, it was busy.
"That was a crazy week," she said. "Those few days was like opening the floodgates. There were some down years, some tough years, but we kept it going. We had 9-11 happen in the first few months we were open, but nothing like COVID, nothing like what the Hoeglers have had to deal with. They've been doing all the right things. This is the toughest time for the restaurant industry. They are smart, creative, putting out great food, and employing great people."
Demopoulos said that she and Bill had been in the restaurant industry for a number of years, starting in the 1980s. In 1995, she said, they sold their business to a family member. Some time later, they went on a trip to Ireland.
"That trip inspired us to open an Irish pub," she said. "Pubs are not bars in Ireland, they are for the community. It's for any age group. It has always been that way and will continue to be that way."
Longtime customers Linda Cosgrove and Larry Zollner, who both live in Twinsburg, said they've both been coming to Mavis Winkle's since the restaurant first opened.
"You really feel like you are part of the family," said Cosgrove.
Zollner said that when customers come to the restaurant, they are generally greeted by Ed or Tammy.
"They come to each table," he said. "They're moving around, saying 'hi, how are you?' They'll take care of you if something's gone wrong. They are really friendly people."
Both Cosgrove and Zollner commented on the cleanliness of the restaurant as well.
"They keep the place really clean," Cosgrove said. "You really feel that you are not in danger of getting sick."
Cosgrove and Zollner said they have many menu items that they enjoy, but both had the same favorite: the ribs.
"They have the best ribs in town," Cosgrove said.
In addition to the anniversary, those looking for a new lunch or dinner option can consider TwinsBurgers, a new line of menu items under Mavis Winkle's which officially opened for business in early January.
Hoegler said the concept falls under the umbrella of the Irish-themed eatery he operates with wife Tammy.
While the emphasis is primarily on delivery and pickup, customers also can dine inside Mavis Winkle's "if they are comfortable," he said. The menu can be found on the website. To place an order, call 330-405- 3663 or visit twinsburgersohio.com.
TwinsBurgers offers several hamburger options, which include “two fresh smashburger patties.” There also are options for a veggie patty and a gluten free bun. The menu also includes tacos, wings, soups and salads.
“I’ve been working on this for a long time,” Hoegler said. “When COVID really set in, I felt I needed to pivot on this.”
Hoegler added that TwinsBurgers has "really taken off."
Reporter April Helms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.