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Irishmen Replacing Rivera's In Fair Lawn With Modern Bar & Restaurant

The Craftsman owners David Casey, left, Philip Quilter, at the new Fair Lawn location -- expected to open St. Paddy's Day 2020.
The Craftsman owners David Casey, left, Philip Quilter, at the new Fair Lawn location -- expected to open St. Paddy's Day 2020. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

Philip Quilter and David Casey came to the U.S. in the early 1990s with a few hundred bucks and a dream.

Fast-forward nearly three decades later, and the Irishmen own three thriving New York City bars -- and soon a fourth in Fair Lawn.

Quilter and Casey are transforming Rivera's Owl Pub on Maple Avenue into "The Craftsman," a family-friendly restaurant during the day that will become a modern bar at night.

"The name is homage to craftspeople in general like bartenders, gunsmiths, cobblers, etcetera," Quilter said.

"We have black and white photos on the walls in our place in Harlem paying homage to these people, working class -- like ourselves."

Quilter and Case are shooting for a St. Patrick's Day 2020 opening.

The two met each in 1989 through an Irish hotel business and later came to the U.S. with the company -- first Casey, then Quilter.

Casey was the first to plunge into the bar and restaurant business, opening his first on Orchard Street and later, another on the Lower East Side.

Casey eventually convinced Quilter to buy in and, as they say, the rest is history.

The friends, who both live in Wayne with their families, opened the first Crafstman location on St. Paddy's Day 2017 in Harlem, not far from Columbia University.

Now felt like the perfect time to bring their business to New Jersey.

"It just seems like the right move in our career," Casey said inside of the Maple Avenue watering hole.

"We don't have the same daytime traffic as we do at our Columbia location but we want to cultivate that same health food concept during the day and at night, turn it into a cocktail lounge."

The Craftsman won't be an exact replica of the Harlem location but will share similar nuances.

The restaurant will open at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner and transition into a cocktail lounge in the evening.

Quilter and Casey are hoping to utilize the building's second level for an event space with catering.

A complete renovation of the facility has already begun.

Follow The Craftsman on Instagram for updates.

The Craftsman, 6-18 Maple Ave., Fair Lawn

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