Awards of Excellence 2018
Forrester Construction
Kirwan's On The Wharf

Kirwan's On The Wharf
Award of Merit
Best Retail Project

Project Team

Rugby Pub - (Owner)
Saint and Design Republica - (Architects)
Forrester Construction - (General Contractor)

Executive Summary

Kirwan’s On The Wharf is a new 5,000 square foot restaurant located at a mixed use waterfront destination in Southwest Washington, DC. The Owner bought the property in an area that was historically heavily populated with immigrants from Ireland with the goal of creating an authentic Irish pub.

In order to create a truly authentic Irish restaurant that differentiated itself from other Irish pubs, the space reflects an Irish inspired decor with the majority of the finishes imported from Ireland. Nine carpenters and three painters were brought in from Ireland to help make the space look authentic. Interior finishes include dark wood paneling, three custom bars, floor tiles, oak wood flooring in the main dining areas on the first and second floors, three brick fireplaces and tin ceiling panels.

The construction of this new restaurant included a main dining room, private dining areas, three bars and a new commercial kitchen. The second floor mezzanine houses a gastropub that offers a classic dining setting and a more private bar area. The mezzanine can be separated from the main bar area for private functions. The first floor dining room can also be separated and includes an entryway disguised as additional shelf display units. As part of the fit out, a new storefront system was constructed with operable panels allowing the patrons the option to be seated at two outdoor cafes overlooking the water.

Kirwan’s was one of multiple projects simultaneously under construction within the same complex of buildings, necessitating careful consideration of site logistics, coordination and planning. Our Project Team worked closely with multiple other General Contractors at The Wharf to coordinate material deliveries and the use of shared loading docks and storage areas. In addition, our Team worked closely with the Owner and the supplier from Ireland to verify and confirm that all millwork, finishes and furnishings would arrive on time. The scope of work was completed on time as a result of careful planning and continuous monitoring of critical deliveries.

Existing conditions in the base building including existing structural slabs were not indicated in the original documents. Multiple holes and openings had to be created to meet the operational requirements of a restaurant and while core drilling we determined that the existing structural slabs were inaccurately recorded. This required extra care particularly when constructing new openings in the kitchen where the rebar was very shallow. Despite this, Kirwan’s was completed on time and was one of the first restaurants serving food on The Wharf’s grand opening day of October 12, 2017.

Kirwan's On The Wharf


Signature Sponsor:
Clark Construction Company

Platinum Sponsors:
Brandywine Realty Trust  |   Glass Jacobson  |   The Tower Companies  |   Trammell Crow Company  |   Whiting-Turner

Gold Sponsors:
Akridge  |   Altus Group  |   The Bernstein Companies  |   Bohler Engineering  |   Brookfield  |   CBRE  |   The Chevy Chase Land Company  |   Chicago Title Insurance Company  |   Coakley Williams Construction  |   Cooper Carry  |   Danak  |   EDG2  |   Grosvenor  |   Grunley  |   JBG Smith  |   LCOR  |   Linowes & Blocher LLP  |   MetLife  |   National Building Museum  |   Penzance  |   Powers Brown Architecture  |   RCM&D  |   The RMR Group  |   Ruppert Properties  |   Transwestern  |   US Bank  |   Washington Gas  |   Washington Property Company