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McLadden’s Restaurant Group expands into Hampden

Date: 9/12/2011

Sept. 12, 2011

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

HAMPDEN — It won’t be long until the former Black Horse Tavern is a full-service bar and restaurant.

Michael Ladden and his partners have been working feverishly to renovate the Main Street building in order to open their second McLadden’s Irish Publick House.

McLadden’s Restaurant Group already runs a successful authentic Irish pub in West Hartford, Conn., and now they hope to duplicate that success in Western Massachusetts.

“We’re excited to be coming here,” Ladden told Reminder Publications “What I’ve really liked here is we’ve already met a lot of people who have just stopped by to see what’s going on and there’s been a lot of interest. It’s nice being in a small town environment. I grew up in Granby, Conn., so I appreciate being in a small town.”

Ladden said the group has been working long days on an large renovation of the building for about a week and plan to be at it for a couple more in the hopes of opening “on or around Oct. 1.”

“It’s a fairly extensive renovation. We’re trying to make the place similar in style to the one in West Hartford,” Ladden said. “We’ve been working from 7 a.m. until after midnight, so we’re basically trying to squeeze two months’ worth of work into two or three weeks.”

In addition to the bar area, McLadden’s will feature a casual sit-down dining area, which will be open for dinner seven days a week, in addition to lunch on Saturdays and brunch on Sundays.

“In the tradition of an Irish pub, we’ll be open 365 days a year,” Ladden said.

Once it opens, visitors can expect to find what Ladden called “a traditional Irish pub with traditional Irish dishes coupled with American comfort food.”

“It’s casual dining with a wider range of food,” he said, adding that the West Hartford location has become famous for its nachos, wings and lobster macaroni and cheese.

In addition to those American pub favorites, patrons can also enjoy more traditional dishes, such as fish and chips, bangers and mash and corned beef.

McLadden’s bar will specialize in Irish whiskey and single malt scotch in addition to bottled and draft beers. The company’s self-devised “perfect pour” system ensures patrons will get their beer the way the manufacturer intended it.

“We pay more attention to the way a beer is served than some other restaurants. We clean the lines regularly and make sure it has the right gas mixture,” Ladden said. “Usually you’ll find at a lot of places the beer tastes off and usually that’s because it’s the wrong gas mixture.”

McLadden’s Restaurant Group doesn’t plan to stop its expansion with its new Hampden location.

“We recently purchased a building in Austin, Texas, but the problem there is it’s so far away,” Ladden said. “We’re also currently aggressively looking for possible locations in other parts of Massachusetts.”

For more information, visit McLadden’s Web site at or their Facebook page at

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