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Former home of Up Your Alley, Trio to become an Irish gastropub

January 4, 2019

The plan for a well-known building in The Alley in downtown Aiken recently was made public.

According to signs posted at the former home of Up Your Alley and other restaurants, the 3,960-square-foot brick structure will become the site of an Irish gastropub.

On the signs is a photo of Janny Bijas, Bruce Shipman and David Allen, who launched Up Your Alley in 1982, along with the following message: “Our children are creating a 21st Century Alley Restaurant honoring our past with an eye toward the future in the #bestsmalltowninthesouth.”

Bijas said he and Shipman currently own the building.

Bijas and Anne Laver confirmed it has been leased to Darby Allen Kelly and her husband, Alan Kelly.

Darby is the daughter of Laver and her former husband, David Allen.

Laver now is married to Mike Laver, who is the owner and president of Aiken Aviation Enterprises, the fixed-based operator at the Aiken Municipal Airport.

Bijas and Laver also confirmed that a post on Facebook, which states that Shipman’s son (Bryce Shipman) “helps manage the building,” is correct.

“Collectively we are all looking forward to the second generation supporting this effort and believing in downtown Aiken,” Anne Laver said.

The Aiken Standard contacted Darby Allen Kelly on Facebook and she responded via Messenger.

“My husband, Alan, and I are excited to be opening an Irish gastropub in 222 The Alley,” she wrote. “We currently live in Ireland with our two young daughters. We are hoping to open in spring of this year. We are presently in the early planning phase. We are thrilled to be coming back to Aiken and bringing a bit of Ireland with us.”

Up Your Alley closed in 2011.

From September 2013 until September 2018, brothers Jeff and Philip Jordan were involved in partnerships that operated Up Your Alley Chophouse and then Trio Bar & Kitchen in the former Up Your Alley location.

According to a story published in the Aiken Standard in 1982, the building, which was constructed in the early 1900s, also has been a shoe store, a grocery store, a barbershop and a tavern.

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