Seeing Red: Mac McGee's Color Choice Causes Local Controversy

Some are calling for the boycott of the Irish pub, which opens March 13.

Soon-to-open Mac McGee's newly painted red brick facade on Canton Street has stirred a bit of controversy among locals - some aren't bothered by its brightness and some are most definitely irritated at its lack of context within the historic district.

Roswell Patch reached out to the new restaurant managers, who are gearing up for a March 13 open date, regarding the color choice, but still haven't heard back. However, the city of Roswell said the company - which is new to the area, but has roots in Decatur - was free to choose its color without oversight from the city due to a state law loophole.

Click here to read what Roswell city staff said about why the color choice was allowed.

The topic is a touchy subject, some in Roswell are even calling for a boycott of the yet unopened Irish pub.

"Start a boycott against the pub until they change the color," Jeff Bradley wrote on Roswell Patch.

Locals also spoke out on the Roswell Patch Facebook page about whether or not they were offended by the color choice:

"Looks like it belongs in Pigeon Forge...Too loud for the neighborhood," wrote Philip Wright.

"Wish it was a bit toned down. I'm all for bright colors, but it's out of place for the area," Sabrina Newman said.

"I absolutely hate it. It is a blight on Canton Street. I actually called the city and complained while they were painting. It makes me cringe every time I drive down canton. I have zero intentions of ever stepping foot instide[sic]," said Stephanie Sears.

"Disrespectful and distasteful for Canton St & the historic district...works fine in Decatur on a 2-dimensional wall but a bit much in Roswell!" Alex Paulson wrote.

However, not everyone is as upset by the color, some even welcome the change within the district.

"I'll likely spend more time checking out the interior," wrote Joe Duffy.

"Mac McGees can do no wrong! Best bar ever!" said Annie Bell.

"The red looks a bit much, but hey, this is AMERICA!" Jason Sabatino wrote.

"If it keeps Roswell going in this great direction...fabulous! Great to have yet another place to cocktail and dine in historic Roswell!" wrote Nathalie Harvey Bernstein.

"LOVE IT! It adds character to Canton St. Now let's do something about those horrid black awnings with block letters," said Michael Hadden.

So what do you think? Is the color choice disrespectful or unimportant? Will you give it a try or boycott the establishment?

janet h russell March 13, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Scott, remember these are people who don't want to walk anywhere if they can help it. But if they do, the City has used 457K of money from Marta to install sidewalks on the Norcross St connector between SR9 and Canton St and the City Hall. And there are 2 crosswalks across Norcross St within 100 ft of each other. Now we shall see if they use them or ignore them like they do on Canton St? Sure wish the Council had used the Marta money on Marta projects since that is why they were given it to begin with.
Rosie Haley March 13, 2013 at 08:15 PM
I think y'all have too much time on your hands to be debating the color of this building ad nauseam. (But as they say even bad press is good press.) Paint will fade over time people. It's not like a strip club moved onto Canton Street! I think that would be much more upsetting than an irish pub. And for those that said they wouldn't even go to the pub because of the color is like saying that you wouldn't talk to someone because you thought they were ugly or you didn't like their shirt. It's a ridiculous notion, as we all know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.I was there last night and we had a fabulous time. Do yourselves a favor and give it a try. Close your eyes as you walk through the front door if you have to! But you will be taken aback by it's authentic ambiance, lively atmosphere and absolutely delicious food. What I have always loved about Canton Street is the eclectic vitality it has especially this time of the year. I think it's a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. Stop wasting your valuable time, have an open mind and stop by for a meal, a pint or just to peek--you really will be glad you did~hope to see you there!!!
Kevin March 13, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Oh, Janet, you're precious.
janet h russell March 13, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Kevin, good luck tonight. I hope it is a success. By the way, since you have called it "our" new beautiful red building, does that mean you are involved with the business or are you using the collective possesive?
Kevin March 13, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Janet, I'm not related to the business in any way other than a fan of good business livening up the area I call home. Good stuff.
janet h russell March 13, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Kevin, me too. I hope to see you and meet you sometime and a City council meeting, a Planning commission meeting, or at any Transportation Commitee meeting. I have been involved in all of this for almost 40 years. You can't have a thriving restaurant district without input from the citizens at all of these government agencies. Because sometimes, myopia sets into decision making at the local govt level.
Steve March 14, 2013 at 12:10 AM
My wife and I were number 7 and 8 into the new Mac Magee's tonight. The beer, ambiance and service were great and best of all these two old stodgies didn't run into that contumelious Kevin.
Rosie Haley March 14, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Hey Kevin-sorry we missed you last night. Next time wear a name tag because we would love to chat over guiness pints! You are hilarious!!!! :-)
Kevin March 14, 2013 at 01:50 AM
An Epilogue: Dearest Janet [and other Roswell community members and neighbors] - At the risk of spoiling the good fun we have had here in this thread of diverse comments and editorials, sparked by the most unlikely topics as paint color, I must say I am proud of the spirit represented by you and others and the thriving nature of our community. I have just returned from an amazing evening at the Mac McGee's opening and I can assure you, this new member of our tribe is nothing less than welcoming and full of good fun; an instant classic on our historic street full of old world charm. And isn't that what makes Roswell so special at its core? I had the fortune to meet the owners, who have read ALL of this with great humor and appreciation, I drank and ate with neighbors and laughed and chatted with the new staff who were more than overjoyed at the reception this evening. This small drinking hole and dining establishment is excited to be here. They have BIG plans for the coming nights and weeks and seasons ahead. They can not wait to meet you all! The food was delicious, the atmosphere warm and inviting and, as was said by one member of the staff, if you are looking at the paint you are on the wrong side of the window. So, if I rubbed any of you here the wrong way, good. I have no apology for you. To the rest, I hope to raise a glass with you sooner than later. We are, all of us, lucky to live in this city that is growing around us. Sincerely, your neighbor, Kevin
Kevin March 14, 2013 at 01:57 AM
We must have been there at the same time. I am sure we will have plenty of opportunity to have a drink and chat. Cheers!
Gail Boyce March 14, 2013 at 04:12 AM
Wow, sounds like you are living the dream Janet.. .....But, I'd rather have a pint with Kevin and discuss Rosie's brilliant comments! Cheers Janet. And congrats to MAC MCGEE and welcome to Roswell!
Michael Hitt March 14, 2013 at 12:30 PM
I'm sure it's a good watering hole but it shows this is a business that doesn't care to work with the community. It wants to do what it wants. Canton Street is in the historic distric of Roswell. A bright red is not part of Roswell's history. We need to hold on to what makes Roswell special and the historic distric was setup, years ago, to save the old Roswell. This new bar that looks great across the seas, does not reflect what is great about Roswell's historical past. People coming in and doing what they please, destroys alittle at a time our roots. Put this same bar outside the historic area, then fine. Where it is, it's a black eye to our community. For the people that say, this is America, we can do as we please, are part of the problem also. No values, just live for the moment without any thoughts to the past or the future. So in this case the color is a big deal.
Paddy D. Cake March 14, 2013 at 12:50 PM
It's about time people in this country became divided over color. Next thing you know, your neighbors house will be red.
Scott Long March 14, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Sweet! The Pastis important, but we have a Taste of the future and we must shut our Pie Hole and Tap the potential or we will Roux the day and be in quite a Pickle. Either we show some Zest for life or Gene and Gabe will take us into a Little Alley and teach us a lesson with Pure Relish. Rice up!
janet h russell March 14, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Gail, I am living the dream. Thanks for noticing. You can choose to live in a city or within a community. I have chosen the latter- the operative word being WITH. You would be amazed at how rich and fulfilled your life can be when you forget about your self and connect with your neighbors and do for them. Life is good and what you make it. I have chosen to make it a grand one. Thanks.
janet h russell March 14, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Well said, Michael. I concur.
Paddy D. Cake March 14, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Set the scene - "Janet's bathroom" The most delicate form of floral fragrance wafting from the bowl off of one of her purest poops. The pods of perfection bobbing in the water as if one had sprinkled rose petals across a fresh linen table cloth. A satisfying swoosh as her liver spotted hand depresses the brass handle on "ole reliable" her cherished throne complete with the wooden seat, sending her latest creation of esquitness into the underworld of Roswell. Feeling strangely empty now, a craving she has never felt before is demanding a void be filled. After much deliberation she decides to conquer one of the few items left unaccomplished on her tattered bucket list. It's a recent addition but after so many adventures completed she's had to grow more creative. Picking up the rotary phone she pauses as a mixture of excitement and nervousness washes over her like a spritz of White Diamonds. Ever so hesitant she dials the numbers one by one, the reverberation of the rotary dial teasing her like the final pages of a Daniel Steele novel. On the other end a voice comes through....forcing her back into reality like a lighting bolt from Zeus himself. Hello? Hello? Oh, no what has she done? It's too late to turn back now. If only she had made the call from her Jitterbug it would have been untraceable. Hello? She musters all of her sensuality into three words that will forever alter history......."Kevin, it's Janet"
Kevin March 14, 2013 at 06:49 PM
...and, and, and, then what happens!? My God, man, I'm clutching my pearls in anticipation over here!
janet h russell March 14, 2013 at 08:07 PM
Kevin, Clutching your pearls? Is that what you call them? Your attempts at humor are simply an attempt ...true humor or wit as defined by Alexander Pope requires intelligence. Have a great time at the new pub. I am sure you will find all that life offers you in the bottom of that pint.
Kevin March 14, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Seriously, Janet, never change. You are priceless!
janet h russell March 14, 2013 at 08:13 PM
You have no idea, Kevin. And here is your thought for the day "Try to remember there is a world bigger than the one you live in".
Paddy D. Cake March 14, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Yeah Kevin.
Gail Boyce March 14, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Mr. Cake, In my humble opinion, Kevin is being very gracious about accepting all the information and unsolicited advice Janet is sending his way. Quite interesting dialogue I must say! So, like Kevin, I want to know... WHAT DOES HAPPEN???
Jonathan Harvey March 15, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Go Dawgs.
Denise March 17, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Denise March 17, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Indeed. Go Dawgs!
Denise March 17, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Very nice Kevin.
Denise March 17, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Controversy? A boycott? Really? Come on. When people get so worked up and approach things in a combative manner, people are way less likely consider what you are saying. How about submitting a compromise instead of immediately rushing to a boycott? I will be having a pint here today, with my whole family. Tolerance and diversity - work with your neighbors instead of trashing them and a new local business that will thrive in downtown Roswell. This kind of behavior is part of the reason people who live in town give the suburbs/OTP such a bad name. My favorite quote from the article includes the word BLIGHT - as if this was an issue of a Biblical nature: "I absolutely hate it. It is a blight on Canton Street. I actually called the city and complained while they were painting. It makes me cringe every time I drive down canton. I have zero intentions of ever stepping foot instide[sic]."
Denise March 17, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Dan March 19, 2013 at 07:18 PM
It's great. Wonderful food, great atmosphere and a nice touch of color. A real Irish pub. I am sure the negative nabobs will not be missed.


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