Updated: 03/16/2016 4:04 PM
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Good Company: O’Gara’s
In March 1941, O’Gara’s opened its doors in Saint Paul. O’Gara’s has always been a hot spot for people who want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It’s one of the busiest spots around the cities year after year. Jim O’Gara opened it in hopes of finding a good spot for folks to come eat and drink for a reasonable price. It worked. 75 years later, O’Gara’s is the oldest bar in the city that still sits in the same location.
Jim’s son Tim took over the business and ran it for more than 30 years. He retired in 2003. Today, the family tradition continues with Tim’s son Dan. Dan learned the family business from a young age. His wife Kris and his kids are also part of the business.
A lot has changed over the years. When O’Gara’s first opened, it was just a 90 seat restaurant. Today, there’s a main bar, back bar, even a nightclub and what they call the paddyo. Dan says the success is because the family has been able to change with the ups and downs. Everything from drinking age and smoking laws to the buying of the building and property have been a part of the changes. Through it all, they’ve survived. Dan says they are lucky that they’ve had more ups than downs.
Walk through O’Gara’s and the walls are filled with pictures from the past. Dan says it’s been an honor to be a part of a family business that has 75 years of history. History that includes a connection to the creator of the cartoon strip “Peanuts”. Charles Schulz was the son of Carl Schulz who used to give haircuts in the building which is now known as the Shamrock Room.
O’Gara’s has been attracting some of the same customers for decades and the stories and traditions are endless. Emily takes a look back at some of the moments with Dan O’Gara in this “Good Company”.
For more information on O’Gara’s and its upcoming events and specials, click here.