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Philly's Finest Talks to Pottstown Businessman David Walsh, Owner of the Pottstown Brickhouse

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“With drive, desire, and ambition we can accomplish anything,” David Walsh, Jr.

There was a key word that resonated through my conversation with David Walsh, a Pottstown business owner.  That key word was wepottstown brickhouse

The Pottstown Brick House, located at 152 East High Street, is one of Walsh Global Industries' (WGI) businesses.  The restaurant's menu features American fare at affordable prices and has only two rules for its customers to follow - dress appropriately and have a good time. 

Positive echoes from the past

“We are a product of what we are taught.  Success in business involves being honest about the things we say we are going to do.  Today's economy is a direct result of what we have forgotten as a society.  With truth, honesty, and integrity we find real meaning in the things that we do,” Walsh said.

Walsh credits positive influences from his early years as helping to form his character.  He attended St. Aloysius, St. Pius X, and Owen J. Roberts schools, before earning a degree in computer programming from the Chubb Institute. 

“The teachers at Saint Aloysius instilled values in all of us.  They taught us right from wrong.  As we live our lives and conduct our business we apply everything that we have learned along the way,” Walsh said. 

His father, David Walsh, Sr. and a former local businessman, Jim Hertzog, are people who greatly impacted his life.  His father owned Capital Diesel Trucking Repairs Inc. and D&S Service. Hertzog, who passed away in 2009, owned three businesses:  Coventry Billiards, General Advertising, and a screen printing shop.

“I learned the fundamentals of business and the value of a handshake by working with my Dad.  Jim was a mentor.  He took many of my friends and I under his wing and showed us what business was all about,” Walsh emphasized.

The value of work

Young people often face challenges finding consistent employment.  The experiences Walsh had during the early part of his career were varied.  He held various positions, including being a bartender, a nightclub operator, and a heavy equipment mechanic.  After earning his degree, Walsh worked as a computer consultant for Vanguard, Peco Energy, and Unisys. 

“Through computer consulting we formed Definitive Key Consulting Group, which is a division of WGI.  Through that business we began to do contract work for large corporations, including Wyeth Pharmaceutical and Vascular Health Care,” Walsh said. 

Walsh gained valuable experience while working as an employee in the restaurant business.  He also made a connection that would change his life when he met Blair Reed.  The two complimented each other and they went on to become partners in marriage and in business.  As time passed, they began to carefully look at the economy and toward the future. 

Their interest in a local building, on East High Street in Pottstown, led to the Brick House's birth in 2008.  The striking five-story structure, that houses the restaurant, was pottstown brickhousebuilt in 1888.  It's historically significant because it was the town's first bank.      

“There are many great people in the community and they were looking for a place to go.  Everyone was familiar with that building.  The concept was to have a restaurant with a bar in it, not a bar with a restaurant.  We knew that we could make an immediate impact by creating jobs when we opened the Brick House,” Walsh said.

In response to the high cost of customizing employee outfits, a machine press was purchased and team uniforms were embroidered in-house.  The company used that experience to create another new business venture and began providing embroidery services to a variety of companies.  In a similar fashion, Night Life Management Incorporated was created to supply amusement products for restaurant customers.  Those products are also provided to other businesses. 

Awards

Since the Brick House opened, awards have followed including:  Philadelphia Magazine's, Best of Philly award in 2008, the Pottstown Mercury's, Readers Choice award in 2009, and the Philly Hot List's 1st Place award, which was earned this year.

“It is very cool to know that people care about the Brick House.  The building speaks so loudly because of its own character, it has become a destination spot.  We have a tremendous staff and a magnificent building.  The awards show us that we have something that people want,” Walsh said.

New Ventures

WGI's most recent investment is literally just up the road.  A Douglassville restaurant location, on the Eastbound side of Route 422, was recently purchased.  The site, formerly known as Havanah Joe's, will be fully renovated and is expected to open for business next summer. 

“The Douglassville location is only seven miles away.  We got a good price on the property and know that we will be able to create jobs there.  As soon as that location opens, we will be looking to open a second restaurant in Pottstown, because of the need for jobs in the area,” Walsh said. 

The new restaurant's theme will be similar to that of the Brick House, casual with an American cuisine.

WGI will be the general contractor at that location. 

“Our goal is to create at least one new business every year and to be diversified.  Farming, delivery services, and manufacturing are ideas that we are considering for the future,” Walsh said.

Prior to the Brick House opening, Walsh sent a picture of the building to people in the local area.  A choice of nine names and a tenth blank option were offered for selection.  The name that was most often chosen was “The Brick House” earning the restaurant its moniker.  The same method will be used for the Douglassville restaurant. 

“When the community knows that they are a part of something, they want to support it.  It's like when  employees know that they are part of a business team.  If it's a need, we do it because we have to.  If it's a want, we do it because we love it,” Walsh said.

Accountability

Values and ethics count in business, just as they do in life.

“People need a great cost and a great product.  Employees shouldn't bear the burden to make that happen.  Maybe CEO's and business owners need to lower their salaries.  Everything we make, we put back into our businesses, because it's the right thing to do,” Walsh said.  

Leadership is something that is developed over time and through experience.  The values and innovations that have created and will sustain our middle class remain alive in those who believe in other people. 

“The character of a company is something that is very important.  Our actions are a result of how people perceive that character.  You can't walk through life by yourself.  You have to concentrate on the skills that you are gifted with and use them to help your community,”  Walsh concluded.

Contact Sean O'Brien at sobrien@philly2philly.com

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Walsh Global Industries, Inc.

The Pottstown Brick House

152 East High Street

Pottstown, PA  19464

610-906-3527

Open seven days a week from 11am - 2am.

A schedule of specials and entertainment events is available on the company website.

http://www.pottstownbrickhouse.com/