By Dan Brenna & Steve Weaver
St. Louis: Knight Publishing Company, 1980

This guide book has two Dogtown taverns in it, McDermotts and O'Shea's. The entries for these places are:

Bob Corbett comments: Oh my, the people at O'Shea's had a lot of fun with the authors who were either totally duped by the nonsense fed them or just didn't worry about getting it right.

First of all the business about the longest running Irish bar in the U.S. is simply laughable. Every heard of Boston? Secondly, someone told the authors it was founded in 1907???? Hilarious. The building wasn't even built until 1928 and there was this thing called Prohibition. (Actually O'Shea did open a soft drink place during the last years of Prohibition. Thus, one could make this case: If he opened O'Shea's as a soft drinks place in 1928 and if no other Irish establishment in the U.S. started back up BEFORE 1928, then the claim of oldest continuously running tavern could be maintained. Hilarious.)

However, the 1907 is sheer rot. Next door, where today the Dogtown Gallery is, was opened in 1904 as W.T. Coyne's Saloon. It ran until about 1927 and Jack O'Shea had nothing to do with it.

Much of the rest, however, is defensible, and the authors do say toward the end that some of the patrons had been drinking there for 45 years. Again, using the 1980 date of publication, that would mean 1935, and that is possible.


Bibliography Oral history Recorded history Photos
YOUR page External links Walking Tour

Bob Corbett corbetre@webster.edu