Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 2/14/17
Tumulty’s Pub, an iconic Irish pub in the heart of New Brunswick, has always been known for its Old World charm, complete with original wooden beams, iron chandelier fixtures and a train set chugging along the interior of the space.
Even though the pub has passed onto new ownership to Sheila and Richard Weber of East Brunswick, the friendly neighborhood restaurant and bar still possesses all of those things — as well as some modern upgrades.
The Webers, who also own the Brunswick Grove in East Brunswick, a wood-paneled game-day spot offering familiar American grub and craft draft beer, purchased Tumulty’s in August 2016 and closed the restaurant for three months for their floor-to-ceiling renovations before reopening Nov. 14.
“We were looking to expand, since we have owned the Brunswick Grove for 15 years, which has been the neighborhood bar where people go for family outings, team meetings and things like that since it opened in 1934,” said Sheila Weber, who visited the old Tumulty’s as a teenager. “We grew up around the area and we wanted to be part of what’s happening in New Brunswick with all of the revitalization.”
At Tumulty’s, the entire kitchen and upstairs floor has been renovated and a new bar has been added, featuring 18 craft draft favorites, including a Tumulty’s IPA brewed by Climax Brewing Company in Roselle Park. New furniture has been added upstairs and many of the original fixtures have been updated. The dark wooden ceiling, a collection of Gothic beams, remains in its original glory.
Downstairs at Tumulty’s, the bar, walls, ceiling and carpet have been redone, a space that is usually used for private parties and events. Adorned on the walls are vintage Guinness parties, as well as historic drawings of Rutgers University. Plus, the much-loved original booths from upstairs have been moved here for use.
Such renovations wouldn’t be complete without some menu upgrades, so the Webers added several Irish staples to the choices, which range from $7.95 to $28.95, such as a steak and Guinness stew with tender beef, potatoes, onions and carrots simmered with Guinness and topped with crostini ($18.95) as well as a classic corn beef on rye sandwich with spicy mustard, served with french fries and cole slaw ($9.95).
Several other salads and wraps, popular at the Brunswick Grove, have been added to the menu. Tumulty’s favorites such as the pub burger, a char-grilled 10-ounce prime beef burger ($11.95) and the wedge salad ($4.25) remain in their original state.
“Our customers are happy to see that Tumulty’s is now brighter and more spacious, with an open floor plan and new bar upstairs,” said Sheila Weber. “Plus, they’re very excited about the new menu items.”
However, one thing has remained the same — the train set that runs along the interior.
“The nostalgia of these trains running through the restaurant is a favorite childhood memory of many,” said Sheila Weber. “The first thing customers ask is, ‘Do you have the trains?’ This spans from the 5-year-olds to the 80-year-olds.”
Sheila Weber said that the bar and restaurant, which can seat 165 people and serves 1,000 people per week, has no more renovations planned for the near future and the Webers are very happy with the changes that they have made with the help of their sons, David and Michael, who also manage the Brunswick Grove.
With the renovations, Sheila Weber said that Tumulty’s has maintained its historic charm and warmth while also remaining relevant in New Brunswick. The restaurant and bar, which has been in business since the 1960s, was formerly in another location on George Street and moved to 361 George St. in 1982. It’s one of the few Irish pubs in New Brunswick and the only one on George Street.
“Tumulty’s is one of the oldest original restaurants in New Brunswick so it covers generations,” said Sheila Weber. “People went to Rutgers and came here as students, and now they come back and bring their own kids. It’s a beautiful, warm and cozy place to go and it has always been the town gathering place and neighborhood bar.”
Where: 361 George St., New Brunswick
Cost Range: $7.95 to $28.95