Twenty-one years ago, Karl Ashmore left Dublin, Ireland in search of something different.
His father dropped him off at the airport with $100 in his pockets. From there, he spent time in Europe, and the last 20 years in the Caribbean.
After working as a bartender at various resorts, Ashmore decided it was time for something different.
While visiting Puyallup, he says he received the worst service at a local establishment. At that point, it clicked for Ashmore.
I had a dream and a goal to come to American and open my own bar within two years of arriving here. I missed that goal by a month.
Karl Ashmore, owner of Flanagan’s Craft Pub
“I had a dream and a goal to come to America and open my own bar within two years of arriving here,” he said. “I missed that goal by a month.”
On March 17, Ashmore opened the doors to his downtown Puyallup bar, Flanagan’s Craft Pub. The day of St. Patrick’s Day seemed especially fitting for the Irishman to open his Irish pub.
No detail was overlooked by Ashmore when it came to laying out Flanagan’s. Big TVs adorn the establishment (even in the restrooms), and a pool table, shuffle board, lounge area and a Crown Royal Selfie Chair all await customers’ enjoyment.
LED menus and pens will also be added to the pub in the near future.
The staff at Flanagan’s are all bartenders, something Ashmore says is unique about his pub.
“The first week, the staff made no mistakes,” he said. “The staff here is amazing, and it’s because they’re all bartenders.”
During lunch hours, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., timers are placed at the end of each table. When bartenders take an order, as they’re walking away they set a time for 10 minutes. If the food isn’t on the table within 10 minutes, lunch is on Ashmore.
“I want people to win a free lunch,” he said. “I want to take care of the people in this town.”
Another unique detail that should be arriving to Flanagan’s in the coming weeks is what Ashmore calls a bar-to-table service.
Bartenders will bring a mobile bar to tables to make fresh Blood Marys right in front of customers.
“We plan to establish Sunday brunch in three to four weeks, where we’ll serve the best Bloody Marys in town,” he said.
In addition to the best Bloody Mary’s in town, Ashmore plans on growing the establishment’s list of beers. Right now, the pub serves 25 different beers.
From the plush lounge to the farm-to-table Bloody Marys, Ashmore has brought unique details to his bar. But more important than these intricate details is the pub’s customer service.
“The leadership here is phenomenal,” bartender Elise Morgan said. “Karl has amazing customer service and a huge following. He’s an experienced bartender with a lot of wisdom to share. Karl is so wrapped up in Flanagan’s and this bar. Seeing him work so hard makes me work harder. Karl sets the best example for his employees. I’m very excited to see where this bar goes. Flanagan’s truly stands on its own when it comes to customer service and the care in our food.”
Since opening, Ashmore says he’s been following his dream.
I’ve put my heart and soul into this bar and am very proud of this bar.
“I’ve put my heart and soul into this bar and am very proud of this bar,” he said.
Flanagan’s Craft Pub is located at 120 S. Meridian in Puyallup.