National Small Business Week Feature
Ed Beczynski is a leading restaurateur in the Toledo Region. You may know him as the owner of The Blarney Irish Pub in downtown Toledo. Native to Toledo, Ed graduated from Bowsher High School in 1980 and served in the United States Air Force from 1980-1985. He lived many places, but ultimately chose Toledo as he and his family’s permanent home.
Three years later, Ed opened E.B'S Express, located on the first floor of Toledo Edison. They served prepackaged breakfast and lunch items prepared at Eddy B’s. Soon after, he opened B's Market, a carryout, across the hall from Eddy B's in 1999 as well.
In 1999, Ed met Jim Murray, Toledo Edison President and Jim talked to him about opening another place in downtown. The two eventually envisioned and opened Focaccia's Delicatessen in the HCR Manor Care Building in 2001. Focaccia’s Delicatessen draws inspiration from the delis of New York City. They offer a wide selection of food for those that work in downtown Toledo, including: soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts, seasonal dishes, daily specials, and much more.
As The Blarney grew Ed realized he needed more space and bought the building next to The Blarney in 2013. He transformed the space into Blarney Event Center, which is a premier event space for weddings, class reunions, birthdays and more.
Just last year, Ed saw another opportunity to purchase the first floor of 607 Monroe Street and he is currently expanding his kitchen for The Blarney into that space. This will also be the location for Murray’s To Go, a new restaurant inspired by the open container law that was recently passed in Ohio. It will begin in the warehouse district in June and the late night restaurant will offer drinks, ice cream and food until 3 am.
"To anyone that is aspiring to bigger things, stay inspired and don't give up,” says Ed. “Don't let your circumstances dictate what you can accomplish. A lot of people have told me that I was making a huge mistake with each business I opened, but with hard work and dedication I have achieved my goals, I wouldn't change the process for anything. And I look forward to continue striving for more."
As a local business owner, Ed feels it is important to give back to the community. He has teamed up with Toledo Fire Fighter Charities as his main non-profit, and gives to many other charities throughout the year.