WJTV News Channel 12 - RALEIGH: Glenwood Hibernian reopens after being grounded by fire

A year after fire, Glenwood Hibernian reopens bigger than ever

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Hibernian Restaurant & Pub will reopen in its original location with a new two-story layout, as well as a rooftop bar.  (Hibernian Restaurant & Pub) Hibernian Restaurant & Pub will reopen in its original location with a new two-story layout, as well as a rooftop bar. (Hibernian Restaurant & Pub)
RALEIGH, N.C. -

More than a year after nearly burning to the ground, the Hibernian is set to reopen on Glenwood Avenue.

The restaurant will re-open with a private event tonight in its original location with a new two-story layout, as well as a rooftop bar.

Friday night will see a family and friends opening; and then Saturday the bar will host the annual St. Baldrick's Foundation head shaving to benefit pediatric cancer research. For the event, Hibernian is teaming with Napper Tandy's St. Baldrick's efforts to create one of the world's biggest head shaving events.

Among those expected to attend the event is video game industry veteran and "Gears of War" creator Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski, who will shave for the second time with a goal to raise $20,000.

An official grand re-opening will be held Tuesday, March 4.

Niall Hanley opened Hibernian 13 years ago, and in the years since, it has been a fixture in the revitalization of Glenwood South and ultimately downtown Raleigh.

But on Dec. 26, 2012, that symbol of renewal was in ruins after a grease fire in the kitchen of the Hibernian set the pub ablaze. Only charred walls remained, concealing the countless memories made by of the pub's devoted customers who packed the building nightly.

"You can build a beautiful box and decorate it, but it's filling it with the people and memories," Hanley spoke of Hibernian's legacy. "I had a lieutenant in downtown Raleigh walk up to me and show me a photograph of his baby girl, and he said, 'Without that pub, that would never have happened.' He met his wife there."

After the blaze, Hanley instantly began seeing an out-pouring of support from the community, and by July 2013, reconstruction on a bigger and better bar began.

Reconstruction hit a road bump in September when another fire broke out, this time in a small area of the roof.

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