North Wildwood landmark Westy's Irish Pub has reopened, mere days after its sale by the West family to new owners who plan to keep the concept but change the name to The Inlet on Olde.
Puri Garzone's family lived across Walnut Street from the bar-restaurant, the site of Cozy Morley's long-ago Talk of the Town and later the We Two Inn. "My grandfather's long dream was to own the place," said Garzone, 37, who has helped manage the Philadelphia restaurants of the Table 95 group for more than a decade.
"You might call this long-term stalking," he added.
Arthur West opened Westy's in 1996, an offshoot of his tavern at 15th and Callowhill Streets in Philadelphia. Since West's death in 2013, his widow, Peg, has owned the bricks and business, whose pavilion looking out into Hereford Inlet is a popular warm-weather destination for food, drinks, and entertainment.
Garzone and business partner Joe Affet, a partner in the Paddy Whacks pubs, intend to keep the staff but have pared down the menu for now. Frank and Cody Lubisky now own the real estate.
Garzone said they chose to rename it partly because "none of us are Wests. We felt that a new identity would give us a fresh start." New signs are on the way, and the transition will be gradual.
The deal means more work for Garzone, whose restaurants include the Public House. "I'll be spending half of my time there for the rest of my life," he said.