On March 12, 2003 the business reopens and offers patrons a unique Irish experience. Based on the simple concept of providing an atmosphere of leisure, good company, fine food, and quality service. The 2-story tavern offers an experience second to none. The traditional Irish shop front exterior reflects a period in Ireland still cherished, as seen in Dublin's famous Temple Bar District.
Designed in Dublin with furniture and fixtures imported from Holland and Ireland, you can enjoy casual dining and a wine bar on the ground floor. Named for the Cowley ancestral home in Ireland, Coolhenry (County Carlow) Restaurant promises an engaging dining experience.
John Cowley is shown here as the family visited the home country. In this trip, we find John at the Coolhenry Homestead, Carlow, Ireland. The architecture, designs, woodwork, and masonry in the old country were a large influence during the planning of the new building. The Cowley legacy in Farmington was coming to a new dawn. And as this new dawn broke, the time to expand the business was upon the family. Although the family were always involved, 2002 saw the second generation (Greg, Mike, and Patrick) enter the business to build upon the foundation laid by John and Marie.
Since 1972 the Cowley family has been offering guests Irish hospitality, great food, and some of the area's best entertainment. All of this at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Farmington Road, in downtown Farmington, Michigan...
The picture shown here is of John and Marie Cowley in 1951, shortly after they arrived in this country. The couple emigrated to Detroit in 1949 from Carlow, Ireland. Up until their passing, they still spoke the Gaelic language of their youth. Their children and grandchildren remain proud of their heritage and are happy to be your hosts.
In 1972 John and Marie decided to open Cowley's Old Village Inn. This traditional neighborhood watering hole became a mainstay for many of the residents in Farmington. And as the business became a cornerstone in the community, the family grew. Soon after the turn of the millennium, plans were underway to expand the business.
Cead Mile Failte! (A hundred thousand welcomes to you!)
On February 8th, 2013, John "Jack" Cowley passed away at age 91. Marie Bridgett Cowley passed a few weeks later on April 17th, 2013 at age 84. John was one of the greats in Gaelic football in the 1940's. Both John and Marie came from families steeped in Graiguecullen stock with great football traditions. In 1946 young Jack was training for a final tournament with neighboring Kildare, when he met Marie, who had been born in America and was in Ireland on holiday. Marie was due to return to the U.S. in a short time, and for Jack, it was either spend time with her, or with football. Love won out and he followed his sweetheart across the world. After 50 happy years together in different parts of the United States and Canada, celebrating their anniversary back in Ireland, John was quoted in an Irish newspaper saying that he was still the luckiest man in the world.
And now, the family tradition continues the Farmington Pub legacy with a desire to preserve the irish heritage started by John and Marie Cowley.
Soon, renovations were underway, and the familiar mainstay would become a cornerstone in the community.
The old facade was about to be torn down, along with the rest of the building. And in it's place would be built a brand new generation. The demolition started in August of 2002. And, over the next 7 months, a grand tavern would be reborn.