At first glance the menu may seem small in comparison to some, but our secret is consistency and quality. O’Connell’s has been serving the same popular menu with only a few changes for over thirty years. Our 9oz charbroiled Hamburgers are most often featured because of the numerous times they have won first place in the Riverfront Times restaurant poll, but please don’t stop there. Our Roast Beef served to order any day and the Fish & Chips on Fridays have no competitors. You may believe that a Coney Island is just a chili cheese dog, but when you start with a gourmet frank and top it with our chili you have an experience you won’t forget. Our jumbo shrimp appetizer is always cooked just right and a great value. Customers sometimes ask why we don’t serve tomatoes. The answer is easy: O’Connell’s understands the need to start with fresh, high quality ingredients. The pale and often mushy tomatoes found in this region for most of the year do not meet this standard. To the new comer another perplexing O’Connellism is that for over thirty years we have only offered one dressing. Our “Mayfair” dressing is made fresh on the premises and we hope that you will believe, as we do, that it speaks for itself.

O’Connell’s Pub first opened in 1962, in an area known to St. Louisans as Gaslight Square. Gaslight Square was a bohemian, artistic area, attracting many of St. Louis’s most prominent personalities, some of which not only frequented, but also lived in the area. Some of Gaslight Square’s residents were Ernie Trova, an American sculptor known for “The Falling Man”; Joe Pollack, noted food critic; Bill Woo, former editor of the St. Louis Post Dispatch; and Leonard Slatkin, who has moved on but was the conductor that brought international recognition to the St. Louis Symphony orchestra. Gaslight Square was also known nationally as an entertainment district, attracting up and coming stars such as Barbara Streisand, The Smothers Brothers, Woody Allen, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce and countless others. Gaslight Square was named for a bar called the Gaslight Bar, owned by Dick Mutrux. Dick’s Brother Paul Mutrux later opened the nationally acclaimed Three Fountains Restaurant known for its fine dining. Jay & Fran Landesman who owned the Crystal Palace also wrote a Broadway Show “The Nervous Set” along with Tommy Wolf. Up and down the street you could hear Jazz and Dixieland music spilling out into the streets. Pedestrians would walk cocktail in hand from one club to the next. Even for a time you could get a snow cone made with liquor until it was discovered that this was not exactly legal. The birth of Gaslight Square was between the years 1957 and 1959 but by 1967 problems were already evident and the area began its decline.

By 1972 Gaslight Square was all but gone and many of the other clubs and restaurants had moved or simply gone out of business. Jack Parker now had the difficult task of choosing a new location. O’Connell’s was the last to leave Gaslight Square when it moved to its present location at Kingshighway & Shaw. To preserve the atmosphere they took almost all of the original woodwork and fixtures, even the beveled glass windows from the front. Included in the move were the two historically significant chandeliers made of bell bronze hanging by the bar. These chandeliers were from the 1904 worlds fair. They were made in England and hung in the Belgian exhibition hall at the fair. The only significant piece that they left behind was the fondly remembered stone fireplace which was used for heat along with a potbelly stove on occasions when the furnace would not work. One of the bartenders tell of fortuitously driving past the demolished remains of the original O’Connell’s just as the fireplace was pushed into the hole that once was the basement. Gaslight Square now sits as vacant lots and boarded buildings but the memories linger and the legend lives on.

O’Connell’s new location was built in 1905 by Anheuser Busch and originally opened as a tavern. The building has always served as a bar since the time it was built but sometime in the 1930’s it was moved in its entirety from the corner of Kingshighway and Shaw to were it now sits. In June of 1997 Anheuser Busch returned for an afternoon to O’Connell’s to film a commercial. This commercial featured August Busch III sitting at the Bar speaking on the quality, heritage and 121 year tradition of Budweiser beer. This was a full-scale production starting around 5:00 AM, requiring the restaurant to remain closed until the dinner hour. The parking lot was also taken over by assorted equipment, lights, vans, trucks and even a lunch tent was erected to feed the crew of approximately 25 people. Although they were required to remove the liquor from behind the bar there were few changes made aside from moving a couple of pictures. The commercial proved to be a success for them and they filmed again in August of that same year.

Possibly one of the most unique aspects of O’Connell’s is the fact that just upstairs what awaits you is Jack Parker’s Fine Art and Antiques. Jacks interest in antiques was sparked when he got to know some of the antique dealers that had storefronts in Gaslight Square. He opened the second floor several years after the move to Shaw and called it Second Story Second Hand. Over time it has evolved and is now called Jack Parker Fine Arts and Antiques with a more refined selection, offering Native American artifacts, Navajo rugs and pottery, fine American paintings, and furniture from the Arts & Crafts period (Gus Stickley, Stickley Brothers, L.J.G Stickley, and Limbert to name a few). Mr. Parker ran both the restaurant and his art & antique gallery until 1997 when he turned over the day to day operation of the restaurant to his nephew Fred Parker. This has allowed Mr. Parker more time to devote to his true interest, the Gallery. When you visit our restaurant leave yourself a few minutes to come upstairs and see our selection of fine art.

4652 Shaw Avenue
Located at the intersection of Shaw and Kingshighway
1/2 block south of Interstate 44

Pub Phone (314-773-6600)
Antiques Phone (314-773-3320)

Our Hours
M-TH 11am-1:30am / F-Sa 11am-3:00am / Sun noon-12am

M-Sa 11am-12am / Sun noon-10pm

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