The Buzz: Mystic Ireland closes, McGuinness Irish Pub expands


Mystic Ireland, an Irish import shop at 201 S. Walnut St. in Appleton, has closed.

But that closure will now allow the attached McGuinness Irish Pub to expand with a private party room. 

“My wee Mystic Ireland is gone. I’m sad to be closing, but at the same time I wanted to sell the pub,” said Anna McGuinness, founder of Mystic Ireland and McGuinness Irish Pub with husband John. “They needed the whole thing because they needed a function room where my store was.” 

The McGuinnesses, originally from Ireland, opened their Mystic Ireland imported clothing and gift shop on College Avenue in 1998.

They bought the former Trim B’s building on Walnut Street in 2008. The bar area became their new McGuinness Irish Pub, and Mystic Ireland took the dining room. 

In 2015, they passed the pub operation over to their son-in-law and his two partners.

Now, Matt Miller, one of those three partners, is the sole owner buying the pub business and the building. He also operates the nonprofit Oshkosh Irish Fest taking place this weekend. 

Miller bought the pub, he said, because he wanted to see it remain in business and stay true to its authentic Irish pub feel.

“I think it’s a great addition to the community. We have a lot of fans who absolutely love what we’re doing,” he said. “In honor of the McGuinness family, I didn’t want it to go away. They were ready to sell.”

Anna McGuinness, meanwhile, continues to sell authentic Celtic jewelry and Irish wool sweaters at weekend festivals through the upper Midwest. Her daughter Clodagh McGuinness operates her own Mystic Ireland store in Elm Grove, west of Milwaukee, and maintains a Facebook page. Her shop will accept gift certificates from the Appleton store. 

Anna McGuiness put all her Appleton store stands and displays in storage, but said she harbors the idea of someday reopening a store here.

“Who knows down the road? Maybe, just maybe,” she said. “Tell all my customers I love them and I’ll see them again. I’m not dead yet.”

More: The Buzz: Closed Kaukauna bar reopens

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