Lakewood Ranch's Steve Christie, the Buffalo Bills' all-time leading scorer and a top NFL placekicker for 15 years, is asked to join business ventures almost on a daily basis.
They never stop coming. But this one was different.
On Saturday, March 11, his wife, Kelly Christie, will literally unfold their new business venture, a Pop Up Pub, at the sixth annual Irish Celtic Festival at Greenbrook Adventure Park.
"At first I was skeptical," Steve Christie said about the idea of a blow-up pub. "People send us stuff every day. But once I saw it inflated, I was taken aback. It was pretty darn cool.
"I said, 'Kelly, this would be great for you."
Both Christies are real estate agents and both have their hands in a lot of business fires. However, this business, renting an inflatable Irish-style pub to festivals, fairs and people hosting special events and parties, fit Kelly well.
"My family lived in upstate New York and owned an Irish bar," Kelly Christie said. "I have experience in the food and beverage industry."
Being of Irish descent, red hair and all, she loves all things Irish. She was married to Steve in Ireland at the base of Ladies View along the Ring of Kerry and in front of Muckcross House in Killarney National Park.
During last year's Irish Celtic Festival, she ran in the Irish Spirits Relay Race, where competitors were forced to drink a beer at various stops.
So Kelly Christie formed Wandering Pub LLC, and she hopes anyone interested in the 35-foot-by- 20-foot Pop Up Pub will check it out at the Irish Celtic Festival. It is 16 feet high.
"Everything from the walls to the chimney is inflatable," said Steve Christie, who won the Best Legs contest at last year's Irish Celtic Festival after wearing his kilt. "It gives you that atmosphere."
Festival Director Frank Shea had the Christies assemble the pub on his lawn and he was so impressed he had to rent it for the Irish Celtic Festival.
It can seat approximately 30 people inside and, as Steve Christie said, some people just like sitting outside and looking at it as they enjoy a beer.
Setting up the pub is not difficult, but putting it away can be a chore. Steve Christie, 49, will work with his wife in setting it up at the Adventure Park and will put it away, but eventually would like to hire "a young guy" to do that task.
"It's 450 pounds," Steve Christie said. "But it goes up quickly. The biggest struggle is pressing it out. It's just like an inflatable bed, and it goes into a huge bag."
Kelly Christie is hoping she can make enough contacts that she can eventually franchise the business. Those who want to check out the pub can go to the Irish Celtic Festival or check out her website at wanderingpub.com. The pub also will be making an appearance in Sarasota on March 17 at the St. Paddy's Day Celebration at Pub 32.
The Irish Celtic Festival begins at 11 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. Attractions include the Irish Spirits Relay Race, gaelic sports, the Pot O' Gold Scavenger Hunt, The Lucky Dog Parade and lots of Irish food and drink.