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Kevin Barry’s Pub

Exterior shot of Kevin Barry's Pub

Kevin Barry’s Pub may have opened it’s doors just before midnight on October 31st 1980, but long before 117 W River Street was known to the world as Kevin Barry’s Pub; it had its own history.

In 1760; 100 feet of Wharf Lot 4 was purchased from the Crown (King George III) by William Hindly.  Undeveloped for years; the lot passed through several owners before Noble Wimberly Jones took possession in 1792 by order of the county sheriff.  In 1802 there was talk about building on the wharf lot however no plans were finalized because Noble Wimberly Jones had the foresight to see that none of the plans brought to him by local architects of the day could withstand severe weather of it struck.  When the hurricane of 1804 hit the coastline of Savannah, GA it left $500,000 worth of damage in its path.  The Jones family was spared any damage only having an empty wharf lot.

Before his death in 1805; Noble Wimberly Jones was ingenious enough to realize his wife, Sarah, had a business head on her shoulders and willed the wharf lot over to her. Sarah then leased the property to Benjamin Burroughs for profit.  Burroughs leased the property on Wharf Lot 4 and signed an agreement with Sarah Jones to do improvements on the property, but did not take out an insurance policy to protect his investment on the lot in the event something should happen. Burroughs had planned that a two story,

60×35 feet, stone dry goods store be erected on the site of Wharf Lot 4.  Sarah Jones was perspicacious and made provisions to protect her property with an insurance policy in the event of a natural disaster or fire.  And, in 1827 the store Burroughs had built was completely destroyed by fire and Sarah Jones collected the sum of $32,000.  Burroughs was not so lucky having lost his investment as well as all his inventory by not carrying insurance.

Wharf Lot 4 remained empty until 1854 when Sarah and Noble Jones decedent, George Jones, took over the property and built a warehouse.  Jones hired Sholl and Calvin Fay to build the warehouse on Wharf Lot 4.  Although there was no grand architectural style and the building layout for the warehouse was nothing more significant than a rectangular shaped foundation where five stories of Cyprus wood, stone, Savannah gray brick, and concrete* would be built with a plain flat roof to house grain and cotton.

For over one hundred and fifty years; 117 W River St, formally known as Wharf Lot 4, has withstood time, weather, fire, the War of Northern Aggression, and seen its share of different owners.  It’s evolved from an empty lot, a dry goods store, a warehouse, a steel company in the early 1900’s, Rollinson Electrical Contractors, and what is now known throughout the world as Kevin Barry’s Pub.

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