Paddy’s is the oldest Irish Pub in downtown Portland. Serving traditional Irish fare for over 35 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 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 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.
Our annual St. Patrick’s Day festival is a “must do” in the city. We shut down the streets and celebrate everything Irish with food, drink, and entertainment. On March 17th, 2011, Paddy’s set the Guinness Book of World Records for World’s Largest Irish Coffee. The final cocktail measured in at 159 gallons. (Roughly 100 gallons of coffee, 20 gallons on Jameson Irish Whiskey, 20 gallons of simple syrup and another 20 gallons of heavy whipped cream). Our annual event partner is The Children’s Cancer Association and we’ve been fortunate to raise tens of thousands of dollars to help their cause through St Patrick’s Day. We hope you’ll visit us at Paddy’s and share some history with us. Slainte..