Above, owners and managerial staff of the new Bricks & Barley Tavern in downtown Shelton pose on opening night, Thursday, at the Howe Avenue venue. From left are Will Poole, night manager; Tim Connors, co-owner; Scott Schroder of Shelton, day manager; and Chris Jones of Shelton, co-owner. (Photos by Brad Durrell)

Bricks & Barley has a soft opening on Thursday evening, intended mostly for friends and family members, and opens its doors to the public tonight, Friday. Radio station WPLR-FM 99.1 plans to have its “Wigout” event at the bar and restaurant on Friday from 2-7 p.m.

“We had a good turnout,” Connors, who lives in the Valley, said of the Thursday night soft opening.

“We had a lot of people,” said Jones, who is well-known in Shelton due to his many years as a volunteer firefighter, his involvement in community activities, and serving as an alderman in the past.

Renovating the old Downtown Danny O’s

The establishment fills the space left empty a few months ago with the closing of Downtown Danny O’s (the original Danny O’s Bar & Grille on River Road remains open).

The new owners have renovated the inside and plan to put more of an emphasis on food. It will offer “modern American food with a twist.” Bricks & Barley Tavern has a front patio on Howe Avenue, where a new outdoor fire pit has been added.

It also has multiple large-screen TVs, a gaming lounge that offers XBox and PlayStation, what staff calls a first-class entertainment system, 46 beers on tap, and a bourbon bar.

“We’re bringing something they don’t have here, with multiple atmospheres and a focus on customer service,” Poole said. “We offer the best bourbon selections in the state.”

The establishment’s second floor — with a rooftop lounge — should open in the future, pending certain permits.

Bricks & Barley Tavern is at 441 Howe Ave., between Center and Bridge streets.