By Nicole Valentin

O’Toole’s Irish Pub and Restaurant has a new owner, Alistair Mitchell. Of both Scottish and American ancestry, Mitchell has owned multiple pubs in Europe for about 20 years. The return to the States by Mitchell and his wife, Jessie, was twofold: To help his elderly parents and to let their high-school-aged son, Bradley Mitchell, experience life in America.

After settling in Tampa, Mitchell met former O’Toole’s owner Marcus Winters through a mutual friend, visited the O’Toole’s in Brandon and liked what he saw.

“Frankly, I enjoy the pub business a lot, and it’s a good time to get back into it,” said Mitchell, who also owns Big Frog of Oldsmar, a store that specializes in customized T-shirts.

Although O’Toole’s was never for sale, he discussed the idea with Winters, and a mutually agreeable transaction was reached. Mitchell’s vision for the restaurant springs from his multi-national upbringing.

“I want O’Toole’s to have an international feel rooted in a traditional Irish pub,” he said. “My mission is to deliver good food, good service and good entertainment at a fair price.”

He is a musician and guitarist and will be active in auditioning the different bands and acts that will play.

“I want to provide entertainment, not just music,” he said. “I’m looking for excellent musicians who can interact well with a crowd.”

On Friday nights, Jack Live Entertainment will provide live music from 8-10 p.m.

O’Toole’s is being refreshed with new paint, upgraded bathrooms and new furniture making it more comfortable. For the sports-minded, like himself, he will add televisions.

Mitchell recently continued the tradition of helping the community by hosting the O’Toole’s Irish Pub and Restaurant’s seventh annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving event last month.

At the St. Baldrick’s Foundation event, barbers and hairstylists shaved volunteers’ heads to show solidarity with children who may lose their hair while undergoing cancer treatment. The shave-a-thon volunteers collect monetary pledges from friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, and their bald heads provide opportunities to talk about childhood cancers. Money raised is used to battle and cure those illnesses. The event raised just shy of $13,500.

O’Toole’s Irish Pub and Restaurant is located at 1215 W. Brandon Blvd. and is open from 2:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit www.otoolesirishbar.com to see a menu, specials and events. Musicians, call 684-2600 to set up an audition.