Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
“Warm and Friendly” was Molly McGuire’s motto, and the adage remains the rule at McGuire’s Irish Pub, which has long been one of Pensacola’s most popular restaurants.
On Nov. 5, friends and family of Molly – the restaurant’s and family’s matriarch ─ brought plenty of warm, friendly feelings to Pensacola State College. They also brought a check for $50,350 that will grow the Molly McGuire Culinary Arts Endowed Scholarship and provide even more funds for PSC students.
Molly McGuire Martin died in 2014. Her husband, McGuire Martin, along with family members and friends in the Irish Politicians Club – a social club based at McGuire’s Irish Pub ─ established the scholarship in 2015 in her honor.
With the latest donation, the endowment principal is now $350,350, making it the College’s sixth-largest endowed scholarship.
“They give from their heart,” said PSC President Ed Meadows, speaking to Molly’s friends and family at a ceremony in the Molly McGuire Culinary Arts Dining Room, thanking them for their support. “Their support of the College and this program has just been tremendous. We’re so grateful that they are part of the PSC family.”
Guests, including PSC Board of Trustees members, at the ceremony sampled hors d’oeuvres ─ chocolate mousse with raspberry, stuffed mushrooms, strawberries Romanoff and more – prepared by the College’s Culinary Arts students, and wines poured by Hospitality Arts students.
Culinary Arts student Patrick Newburn thanked the guests for the donation. A line cook at Union Public House in downtown Pensacola, Newburn is a Molly McGuire Culinary Arts Endowed Scholarship recipient.
“It means so much,” he said. “This is a fantastic Culinary Arts program and I would not have found the passion I have if not for the program.”
And what about the fact that he works in a rival restaurant?
“Pensacola is one big community,” he said. “All the restaurants are supportive of each other. Chefs go to different restaurants to try their foods. We’re all in this together.”
Andrea Krieger, PSC Executive Director of Institutional Development, said the Martin family, McGuire’s Irish Pub and the Irish Politicians Club have been vital to building and sustaining the Culinary Arts program.
“The Martin family and McGuire’s IPC members do so much for our community and giving to PSC is a way for them to invest in our students’ futures,” Krieger said. “They give with no thought of if or how it will benefit them. They do this from their hearts. They truly care about our College and our community.”
Billy Martin, Molly McGuire Martin’s stepson, told the culinary arts students to enjoy their chosen profession.
“There are a lot of hours and a lot of hard work,” he said. “But in the end, it’s very rewarding. Molly taught me to have fun and enjoy myself. Don’t let it stress you out. Don’t let it control you.”
He also encouraged them to always treat customers and diners with grace and dignity.
“Molly’s motto and our motto is ‘Warm and Friendly,’ ‘’ Martin said. “She wanted us to treat our employees and guests like they were family.”
Then, he paused.
“On behalf of Molly and the family,” he said, “thanks for doing what you do.”