PORTLAND’S OLDEST IRISH PUB CELEBRATES 40TH ANNIVERSARY
Afive day celebration to thank a loyal community
Portland’s oldest Irish pub Paddy’s marks its 40th year serving the city’s tourists and locals, with 5 days of themed celebrations beginning October 14th.
The celebrations will kick off Monday, October 14th with a carefully crafted Happy Hour menu ($4 Irish specials), $5 Guinness pours and $5 Ruby Whiskey Sours. There will be raffle prizes all week and the first 40 patrons to order a Guinness will receive an engraved Guinness glass to keep. Specials run until close Friday, October 18th.
Other lucky patrons will receive a $5 gift card to be used on their return to Paddy’s once the celebrations are over. Paddy’s itself will be decorated for the entire week with balloons, boas and all things green!
The week long celebrations will culminate in a huge party on Friday, October 18th with traditional Irish live music, a Guinness engraver on-site and a host of raffle prizes.
“We want to say thank you to our community and regulars for giving us an amazing 40 years!” says owner Josh Johnston.
Paddy’s is the oldest Irish Pub in downtown Portland. Serving traditional Irish fare for 40 years in the historic Powers Building (est. 1878), Paddy’s has always been a popular meeting point for the business professionals and Portland locals alike. With an inventory of over 600 spirits on an antique bar that rivals any Victorian Free House, Paddy’s offers adventurous choices for your favorite libation, whether it be luxurious cocktails, beer, whiskey or wine.
The Powers Building
The Powers Building has survived great fires and floods. The building has also been home to many tenants over the years including a fishmonger, furniture store, cigar shop, florist, and most recently a series of restaurants. The first restaurant tenant was Sea Wall Lunch (1935), which later became Jake’s Lunch. Steak and chop lunches sold for 25 cents! Several restaurants followed including the Harbor Cocktail Club. The Harbor Club is rumored to be the first gay bar in Portland opening in 1948 and in business until 1964.
In a time where many iconic Portland restaurants are closing, current owners Josh Johnston and James Hall signed a second 10 year lease and spent $150,000 upgrading and renovating Paddy’s for their customers and for Portland.
Owners Past & Present
In February 1979, Paddy’s Old Fashioned Bar & Grill was opened by Richard Stuman. When Paddy’s opened it was considered the first of the “Fern Bars” meaning it was a nice bar where men and women could go out for socializing. At that time, most Portland bars were tough and rough. Paddy’s helped pave the way for more upscale establishments in the city. Paddy’s was considered “The” hottest spot in the city. In fact, original customers from 1979 still grace our bar and tell us stories of the infamous days of Paddy’s past.
The pub changed hands in 1985 to Bob and Donna Gilpin, and once again in 1996 to Gregg Schillenger. At some point after 2000, business slowed and Paddy’s was threatening to close down due to back taxes.
In 2009, Josh Johnston and James Hall, two Portland locals that owned another downtown neighborhood pub in Northwest Portland called North 45, were able to make a deal to save Paddy’s from closure. Being one of their favorite spots in the city, they jumped on the opportunity to restore Paddy’s to its former glory.
In 2009 Josh and Jim cleared the lien in exchange for a letter releasing interest in the business. Since then they’ve invested back into the pub to restore and upgrade everything from the woodwork, to the equipment, to the floors and the facade. Serious energy has since been poured into the food, drink and hospitality, once again going hand in hand with our history as a great Portland Institution.