Last call for St. Paul landmark bar O’Gara’s, closing this weekend

September 26, 2018

After an eight-decade run on the corner of Selby and Snelling Avenues in St. Paul, OGaras is heading into its final weekend of service. At least, OGaras as we know it.

The watering hole, restaurant and music venue is being downsized as part of a redevelopment of the entire 110-year-old building owned by the OGara family.

The new bar, which is aimed to open late next year or early 2020, will be a quarter of the original size, freeing up space for an apartment building, parking lot and co-working space. But first, the sprawling watering hole must say goodbye.

This weekend is going to be a little tough, emotionally, said owner Dan OGara. It hasnt really hit me yet because its been so busy.

Extended OGara family members who worked at the pub over the years will gather Thursday. And then on Friday and Saturday, two final shows will close down the Shanty stage. Food-wise, the menu has been pared down and limited bottles of liquor are available.

So whats on tap for closing weekend? G.B. Leighton plays Friday. On Saturday, the Farewell to the Shanty Concert Series winds down with Martin Zellar The Hardways, with openers the Billys and the Goombas (a band made up of a couple other big St. Paul restaurant names, including a Cossetta and a Mancini).

After the pub shutters, the owners will be removing the cherry wood panels from the bar and the tin ceilings to save and incorporate into the new space. Other items that arent being salvaged will go for auction next summer.

Dan OGara hopes to host an off-site St. Patricks Day event in 2019, with plans to be back in the new-old space in time for March 2020.

They guaranteed me Id only be closed for one St. Patricks Day, OGara said. And its an Irish builder so he better get it right.

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