William Pace

RIDLEY TOWNSHIP  — William Pace of W.J. Pace & Associates, the Realtor who handled the sale of the former Barnaby's on MacDade Boulevard that will now become The Ridley House, identified the new owner as Brian McLaughlin of Callum Number 7, operating as The Ridley House LLC.

"Brian has a lot of experience," Pace said. "He owns a lot of bars and restaurants in New York City. He's from Ireland. He has a lot of energy and he will bring a lot of energy to Ridley Township."

McLaughlin could not be reached for comment.

According to Pace, the sale was financed through Boeing Helicopters Federal Credit Union. He said his brother, James J. Pace, handled the financing for McLaughlin. The credit union is located in the township, on the Boeing property.

"The whole thing really took two years," Pace said of the sale of the iconic eatery. "The bottom line is I have been selling restaurants and liquor licenses for over 40 years and this one took a couple of years. I believe he (McLaughlin) hopes to open before Christmas."

The old Barnaby's and the Heritage Ballrooms closed for the last time in April. The owners of that establishment were Ralph Lamarra, Bill Daily and Mike Gallon. The trio also operate Barnaby's in Aston, Haverford and West Chester. Lamarra will have a role in the new enterprise.

"I'm just helping the new owners during the transition, with staffing, getting some of the old staffers back," Lamarra said.

The former Barnaby's site has a history as a restaurant/bar dating back to almost a half-century. The most enduring name was The MacDade House. Board of Commissioners President Bob Willert sees the proposal to operate the new restaurant as The Ridley House as a perfect fit for the township's desire to "spruce up" the boulevard. He said the plans for the new business look "really sharp."

"I did meet with the new owners and the plans look great," Willert said. "There will be a whole new make-over, inside and out, including outside dining. It won't be like a sports bar, it will be more 'warm' inside.

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