ST. LOUIS — “It is one of the oldest continuing operating bars in St. Louis, and we believe the oldest Irish bar in St. Louis, ” says Joe,
You might know it as Dogtown's old school Irish bar. But, for the Connolly family, it goes beyond your usual pint of Guinness.
“To my family, it means a lot of hard work,” says Teresa Connolly, Co-Owner of the Pat Connolly Tavern. “My father and my mother both worked here, so during the summers, my mother was working and we had to come with her. So, we would go across the stress and play on the playground then come back for lunch, then go back to the playground.”
In 1942, Pat Connolly opened the Pat Connolly Tavern. His first barkeep career started as a way to support his family, but with his hard work…
“He would come in the morning and open up, then after lunch he would go home and take a nap; then he would get up at four and work until closing,” says Connolly.
The tavern took off! becoming a St. Louis landmark for over 75 years now. In 1980, Pat's daughter, Teresa Connolly, took over the business alongside her husband, Paul Jovanovich.
“He would be impressed, he never thought it would last this long,” says Connolly
The biggest lesson she took away from her own father?
“Hard work pays off, I mean he would work night and day,” says Connolly.
The hard work did keep paying off! it was not long until the tradition was passed on! Teresa's son is now behind what Pat's is today.
“When I was growing up as a kid, I spent a lot of time here, by the time I was in middle school I was working here as a bus boy and doing dishes,” says Joe Jovanovich, Co-Owner.
For him, it is not only the legacy of Pat, but his late father, Paul, too.
“That is my main memory is my dad here, not just him working a lot, but he had a lot of fans,” says Jovanovich. “He was a very popular and well liked person because he was such a genuine, funny and popular person.”
3 different generations working toward the same goal.
“Honoring the past, honoring the legacy that Pat built, and seeing my own mom and dad run the place, but also make our own mark on it too.”
Over 75 years later, and the tavern is now being passed onto a new owner. But, the Connolly's still have one last party in them this St. Patrick's Day. While this chapter is coming to a close, they have hope that this Dogtown bar’s legacy will carry on.
“I would love to see this place continue on, for another 100 years for forever,” says Jovanovich.
Ownership of the Pat Connolly Tavern will change in June. Plan your visit at patconnollytavern.com.