The popular Old Port bar Bull Feeney’s will close on Sunday.
Staff at the two-story Irish bar on Fore Street were called by management to a meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Following that staff meeting, owner Doug Fuss told reporters that he would not make a statement, but issued a press release Thursday morning.
“This is not easy,” Fuss said Wednesday night.
Fuss opened Bull Feeney’s on March 13, 2002. Over two decades in the Old Port, it has served traditional Irish food and pub fare alongside a steady entertainment calendar of live original and cover bands, literary readings and open mics catered to local poetry and comedy scenes.
The bar was named in honor of the movie director John Ford, who grew up in Portland and was a fullback on the Portland High School football team earning him the nickname “Bull.”
“We would like to thank the Portland community for supporting us for all of of these years,” Fuss said in the press release. “A pub wouldn’t be a pub without the lively conversation, laughter, singing, and dancing of its customers. We wish we could thank each and every one of you personally. If you stop by this weekend, we’ll make sure to.”
Some workers exchanged hugs after Wednesday night’s meeting. One employee told another that it was “an end of an era.”
Bull Feeney’s closed on March 16, 2020, due to the pandemic, and reopened on August 18, 2002. Throughout its closure, rumors began swirling that the Old Port staple would close permanently. The building is owned by Eleven Exchange, LLC, one of several entities run by Portland landlord Joe Soley.