A New Chapter: McGinty’s Public House Co-Founders Transition Ownership

McGinty’s Public House co-founders Greg Whelan and Brian Dolphin have relinquished ownership of the business to general manager Debbie Lea and her family, according to an announcement posted to social media Tuesday evening.

“We are extremely proud of what we created and strongly believe that McGinty’s has been and continues to be an important bedrock in the Silver Spring community,” Whelan and Dolphin wrote on Instagram. “So, we are thrilled to announce that our General Manager, Debbie Lea, along with her family, Denis, Conor, Nieve, and Kade, will be taking over the reins. Debbie has been managing McGinty’s since we opened and her passion for the business has been unwavering. Debbie and her family will bring the energy and drive that will see McGinty’s thrive for another 18 years and beyond. We wish them the best of Irish luck and much success!”

The full text of the announcement is below:

When we opened our doors for business in 2006 we hoped and dreamed that the Silver Spring community would welcome an Irish pub. We’ve been blown away by your support and the sense of community that we have felt since then. What a journey it has been! So many friends made, so many amazing customers, so many great people that we’ve had the pleasure of working with who have become part of our family – it has been everything to us for the last 18 years. But, every journey must come to an end so, with that in mind, we want to share with you our decision to step back from ownership of McGinty’s.

We are extremely proud of what we created and strongly believe that McGinty’s has been and continues to be an important bedrock in the Silver Spring community. So, we are thrilled to announce that our General Manager, Debbie Lea, along with her family, Denis, Conor, Nieve, and Kade, will be taking over the reins. Debbie has been managing McGinty’s since we opened and her passion for the business has been unwavering. Debbie and her family will bring the energy and drive that will see McGinty’s thrive for another 18 years and beyond. We wish them the best of Irish luck and much success!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our current and former staff members. The true strength of this business has come from you guys. Many of you have become lifelong friends and we are both eternally grateful for all you have done. Thank you!

We will be at McGinty’s on Saturday (1/27) evening from 7 PM onwards with Debbie and Denis, a changing of the guard so to speak. We would love to see old friends, staff members, neighbors, and customers as we wish Debbie and her family all the best for the future. Our good friend Rose McConnell’s band ‘fly the coop’ will be playing from 7 PM to 10 PM and we hope to see you for a pint to toast to the incredible experiences we have shared and the road that lies ahead.

Sincerely,
Greg & Brian

Whelan and Dolphin opened McGinty’s at Ellsworth Place in 2006. Whelan and his wife Emma are the owners of Whelan’s Beer & Wine in Potomac Village, which opened last year, and previously owned Astro Lab Brewing in downtown Silver Spring, which closed in 2023 and was replaced by Third Hill Brewing.

Photo: McGinty’s Public House / Facebook

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