How a former Cincinnati Bengals tight end scored a touchdown in downtown Lake Worth Beach 🏈 🍻 ☘️
Updated: Feb 13, 2022
DOWNTOWN LAKE WORTH Beach’s newest watering hole has a Cincinnati Bengals connection as deep as a Joe Burrow pass to Ja’Marr Chase.
Eifert played his final season with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020, but many fans still associate him with the Bengals, who drafted in the first round out of Notre Dame in 2013.
“When they won the (AFC) championship (Jan. 30) to go to the Super Bowl, everybody was walking up to me congratulating me,’’ he said with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘I’m not playing for them! Why congratulate me?’’’
Eifert, who retired because of injuries, said he’s rooting for the Bengals to beat the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Super Bowl LVI.
He’s expecting a large crowd at The Irish Brigade's sold-out back room Super Bowl party (the main bar will be open for the game). But whether The Irish Brigade blossoms into a full-time "who dey" Bengals bar remains to be seen.
He knows there’s already an AFC North rival on the block. Dave’s Last Resort and Igot’s Martiki Bar, two popular watering holes across Lake Avenue from The Irish Brigade, are longtime Pittsburgh Steelers bars.
“I think I'm outnumbered in this area with Steelers fans,’’ Eifert said with a laugh.
But he guarantees at least one loyal following at The Irish Brigade.
“We’re going to make it a Notre Dame bar,’’ said Eifert, who received All American honors and was recognized as the top college tight end in his three years playing for The Fighting Irish.
Eifert is an officer in Irish Properties LLC, which bought the Brogues building at 621 Lake Ave. in September for $3 million. Brogues Downunder closed after long-time owner Rod Regan died from COVID-19.
Eifert said his company put about $400,000 in renovations at the bar, with most of thee work done after it opened in October as The Irish Brigade. Future plans include a high-end Irish and Scotch whiskey bar, also serving up top bourbon, in the back room.
A year ago at this time, Eifert said he would not have envisioned planting roots in Lake Worth Beach. During his Bengals days, he spent off-seasons living in Delray Beach, where he opened a gym called f45 in March.
He sold his Delray Beach house after signing with Jacksonville. But he still loved South Florida and wanted to be close to his favorite Jupiter golf courses.
A friend told him about a house for sale on the north end of Lake Worth Beach in College Park.
“I’d never been to Lake Worth Beach in my life,’’ he said. “It was a good opportunity and a good house.’’
And the address of the house, on Notre Dame Drive, just happened to be a happy coincidence. “It's pretty cool,’’ said Eifert, who bought the house in May.
He started exploring downtown Lake Worth Beach and discovered Brogues. When he heard the building was for sale, he didn’t hesitate, even though there’s already another Irish bar, The Rock Irish Pub, a few doors down on Lake Avenue.
“It happened really quick,’’ he said. “This could be a fun little project and also kind of revamping the bar to make it a nicer place, hopefully it helps build the area up.’’
He said he liked the vibe of Brogues. And he said he will continue to welcome the Liverpool soccer fans who have packed Brogues for years to watch their English Premier League team on the big screen.
“There’s a good following of people who love this place,’’ Eifert said. “We’re not trying to make it completely different. We’re just trying to make it a little better.’’
At least one long-time Brogues customer is happy with the new bar.
“I love it. They've upgraded the bathrooms. They've got a new chef coming on. The atmosphere and the music is fantastic,’’ said Jim Leary.
“They are doing a great job.’’
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About the author
Joe Capozzi is an award-winning reporter based in Lake Worth Beach. He spent more than 30 years in the newspaper business, mostly at The Palm Beach Post, where he wrote about the opioid scourge, invasive pythons, the birth of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Palm Beach County government. For 15 years, he covered the Miami Marlins baseball team. Joe left The Post in December 2020. View all posts by Joe Capozzi.