‘Belmont’s’ Conley’s Pub & Grille Sold To A Familiar Face

Photo: Conley’s Pub: Belmont’s favorite bar not in Belmont

A familiar face returns as the new owner of Belmont’s favorite bar not in Belmont, Conley’s Pub & Grille.

Last week, owner Stephen Conley – who opened the bar/restaurant in 2001 – sold the location to JKT Watertown Partners LLC which leased the property to pub entrepreneur Jim O’Rourke. Renovations are reportedly taking place this week “with the possibility of it reopening the following wleek with the same name, concept, and staff,” according to Boston Restaurant Talk.

“That’s a wrap,” Conley wrote on his pub’s Facebook page.

“I simply do not have words for all this has meant to me and my family. It’s hard to put into words,” said Conley. “The community, the staff, the customers. I hope everyone knows I appreciate it all. Like, all of it. I had my name out front. And there’s a commitment to living up to that name. And honoring all that it entails.”

While located at 164 Belmont St. in Watertown, Conley’s has long been the hangout for Belmont residents which have considered the watering hole and eatery its own.

O’Rourke owns the First House Pub in Winchester and The Heights Pub in Arlington Heights and is co-owner of the recently opened Fresh Pond Beer Garden in the Fresh Pond Mall in Cambridge. His locations are described as “family-friendly neighborhood spot[s] that offer comfort food, pub grub, and classic American fare,”

The Arlington native’s connection with Conley’s began more than a decade ago when he started working there part time.

“When Conley’s expanded, the owner asked me to come on full time as a chef/manager. I worked there until First House Pub opened in 2015,” O’Rourke told Your Arlington in 2021. Conley and O’Rourke were co-owners of First House at its opening.

As he “moves on to his next chapter,” Conley had one final comment to convey.

“Thank you Belmont. Thank you Watertown. You’ve been left in incredibly capable hands. See you soon. On the other side of the bar.”