I really appreciate everyone who contributes to this blog on the weekend. It frees me up for a couple days and it adds some different voices and ideas to the mix. I don’t pay anybody anything, so I thought once a month we’d have a contributors lunch and I’ll pick up the bill. Today, I met with Mike Foster, Jeff Putnam and future contributor, Bob “The Whale” Miller (Bob Gordon was out of town, “Boris” was busy and I just assumed that Jaws wouldn’t be able to make it, but you’re all invited to next month’s lunch!) It was a fun lunch and I took photos of the Shamrock and our pretty waitress Sara. When I came home, there were only two photos on my camera. Somehow I accidentally deleted all but the final two photos. And if anyone from work is reading this, I swear I was just drinking iced tea for lunch! So you’ll have to wait about a month for photos of a full-fledged contributors lunch.
The good news is I went back after work and took photos. Donnelly’s Pub or The Shamrock as it’s commonly known has been in this location since owner’s Terry and Molly Donnelly took it over on December 9th, 1970 (exactly ten years before John Lennon found out that happiness really isn’t a warm gun). Well, in a couple week’s The Shamrock is moving to a new location—4501 N. Rockwood. While I’m looking forward to seeing The new Shamrock, I’m kind of sad to see the old one go. I started drinking in here in 1975 when I was a junior in high school, armed with a fake I.D.
So please join me for the two remaining lunch photos (below this post) and some last shots of The Shamrock on what’s probably going to be my last visit to this location.
Here we are at the Shamrock. I first walked through these doors in 1975.
An unlit shamrock sign looms overhead.
But the neon is still blazing in the front window.
In the center of it all is a Shamrock circling the first and probably last type of beer I'll drink in this location.
The first thing you see once you're inside is the "Soups of the Day." I had the Irish Stew for lunch. You can see it pictured below in the bonus section.
There's plenty of seats at the bar, which I guessed there would be, seeing it's the night after New Year's Day. Let's go snag one.
Friendly bartender Nate serves up the aforementioned bottle of Budweiser. He said he'll be working at the new place, so we'll see him there.
The patent-pending shot of the taps for Spike.
Obligatory bar room mirror shot in my goofy yellow work shirt!
There's a couple of tables in the front room to sit at.
A mother's letter. This has been on the wall for as long as I can remember. Which means it may have just been put up a few days ago.
There's a back room for parties behind the bar. And here's a fuzzy-wuzzy photo of it.
One of the windows of the room is filled with miniatures filled with Irish whiskey and adorned with the word, "Donnelley's" at the top.
There's more miniatures in the other window and this one is festooned with the popular name for the bar: "Shamrock." It's not often in life you get the chance to write the word, "festooned," and I'm happy for this opportunity that just gobsmacked me across my forehead. Oh, happy day!
And here's the back room. If you want to have one last party in here, you better book it soon!
There's lots of pictures and knick-knacks on the walls and I'm assuming they'll all be transferred to the new joint.
Authentic Irishman for hire!
A framed vintage ad for Boyd's old Irish whiskey hangs on a wall in the back room.
A framed article from the Journal Star hangs on a wall in the front room.
Wooden tables and booth's are set up in the back room. This is where we had our contributor's lunch.
Lamps hang over the booths, illuminating them in a glow of electric light.
A longshot of the highly-polished wooden bar that I've sunk my elbows into many times over the last four decades.
One last look out of the front neon-lit window and I'm out of here and gone like a cool breeze. Thanks for the memories, Shamrock, see you in the new location.
Daily Slideshow—Photos via the internet, Photoshoppery by me!
Bonus Photos—The Only Two Photos That Survived From Our Contributors Lunch
My apologies to Whale, Mike Foster and Sara who posed for photos that somehow got deleted. We’ll try it again in a few weeks at the next contributors lunch. In the meantime, here’s the two that survived.
Contributor Jeff Putnam, who wrote about The Buffalo Springfield playing at Western Illinois University back in 1967 a few weeks ago poses with Molly who owns the Shamrock along with her husband Terry.
And here's a shadowy photo of my cup of Irish Stew. It was delicious, by the way. Hopefully the next contributors lunch will be documented with a full set of photos.