Kieran Folliard (center). Photo by Tom Wallace.

Everyone is expecting the new Twins ballpark to change the landscape of the downtown entertainment district. Last night, Kieran Folliard announced that he is making the first big move. He’s moving his original bar, Kieran’s Irish Pub, into the old Bellanotte space.

You can read our story here.

He wants to open the new Kieran’s on March 16, the day before St. Patrick’s Day. This makes him the busiest Irishman in the bar business (his other pubs include the Local, the Liffey and the brand new Cooper in St. Louis Park.)

This is good news for Block E, which is suffering from a couple big vacancies. Block E’s developer, Dan McCaffery, is obviously excited. “It will be a whole new day for the entire district,” he said.

Of course, this block already has an Irish pub -- O’Donovan’s. The pub’s owner, Dermot Cowley worked for Folliard at the Local before striking out on his own in 1999. You’d think he might be worried about the instant competition that Kieran’s represents. Cowley said the opposite: “I think it’s fantastic. When good places come into a neighborhood, it helps everybody. It keeps us all on our toes.”

What do you think? What does Kieran’s add to the 1st Avenue entertainment district? Will Folliard be Block E’s savior? Will Kieran’s be a good spot to dine and drink on game day?
 

Slam poetry at Kieran's Irish Pub. Photo by Jeff Wheeler.