READING, Pa. - If you've ever been to a pub in Ireland, then you know the Ugly Oyster at South Fifth and Cherry streets in downtown Reading is about as genuine as it gets.
"Everything came over in a container from overseas," said Steve Willems of NAI Keystone. "This all came here, and they put it together again. It's pretty special."
Willems is the broker for the business, but he's also an Irish pub enthusiast.
"My wife is Irish and we go to Ireland every year," he said. "This is the real McCoy. I can tell you."
Twenty years after owner Glenn Rigg unveiled the bar's major renovations inside and out, he's decided it's time to update the ownership.
"It's more like passing on the torch to the next generation," Rigg said.
Rigg bought the bar at just 28 years old, when it was still a corner bar called the Hofbrau. Almost a decade later, in 2000, he made it what it is today.
"The example of what we did in here, it's a good example of what I've lived my life by in the Oyster," Rigg said.
A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Rigg paid close attention to every detail of the bar, including the recipes.
"His recipes have been refined over many, many years, and he's going to convey those recipes to a buyer," said Willems. "He'll [also] train them as he's trained his chefs now."
Rigg is stepping away to spend more time with his wife and nine-year-old son. He said he hopes the next bright-eyed, ambitious go-getter takes the Ugly Oyster to the next level. While it's bittersweet, he feels it's the right decision.
"It's priced to sell [at $450,000]," said Willems. "It's not a stupid price. There's four apartments that generate income upstairs. You've got a liquor license, which by itself is worth a lot of money. It's a good value."
"It's been an interesting run, a fun run, and it is time to pass it on," said Rigg.
The Ugly Oyster was initially marketed privately directly to other restaurateurs in late October. Willems said around Christmastime, it was listed on the full market and has generated a lot of interest because of the pub's age and heritage.