By JOHN T. WARD
Just three weeks shy of their fourth anniversary in the business, Kathy and Mike Maguire are closing their Rumson restaurant, Molly Maguire’s Gastropub.
The Tuesday night finale is in preparation for sale of the East River Road establishment to restaurateur Victor Rallo, owner of the nearby Undici, on West River Road, and Birravino, in Red Bank, Kathy Maguire said Monday.
Rallo, who is said to be creating a smoked-barbecue restaurant to replace Molly Maguire’s, declined to comment on his plans until after a closing on the deal, scheduled for Thursday.
The Maguires, who live in the borough, bought the former Murray MacGregor’s Publik House in October, 2011, paying about$1.85 million to sellers Tim and Matt Harmon, who had transformed the former Briody’s into MacGregor’s in 2008.
The parents of five kids, the Maguires had both worked in restaurants in the past, but never as owners. But with her kids all in school, Kathy was looking to buy a business she could run, she told redbankgreen on day one of their ownership.
She told redbankgreen on Monday that while she and her husband had not been planning to sell, Rallo came in with an offer that “was too good to walk away from.”
Having moved their family to Rumson, from Hazlet, the end is bittersweet, she said.
“I’ve made a lot of friends over the last four years,” she said. “Just having that connection to the community, and the schools, was really nice. And the employees, they’re like an extended family.”
Maguire said Rallo had met with key employees and has indicated he’ll consider them for employment in the new venture, she said.
For herself, Maguire said, she’s now “going back to family life and being the average person on the block.”
The borough has the property assessed at $1.06 million.