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O'Gara's Bar and Grill will not be re-opening in St. Paul

Its owners had intended to open a smaller location in the new building that replaced its original home.
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The St. Paul institution that was O'Gara's Bar and Grill will not return to its longstanding home on Snelling and Selby.

The Irish bar had called the Snelling and Selby corner its home for 77 years, but temporarily closed down last September as the building that housed it was redeveloped into apartments and office space.

At the time, the O'Gara family said the intention was the bar would re-open in the ground floor of the building, albeit in a smaller form, in late 2019 or early 2020.

However, owner Dan O'Gara announced on Sunday that they have decided not to re-open in St. Paul, with the bar continuing to live on through its State Fair stand, as well as catering events.

In his statement, O'Gara noted that changes in regulations and the growing competition from taprooms made re-opening "financially untenable."

"It is with sadness that we share the news that we have decided not to re-open the original location," the third generation owner said.

"This decision was made after considerable reflection and analysis. My wife Kris and I understand how disappointing this will be to our long-standing patrons and staff. We want to thank everyone for the loyalty and joy that the neighborhood has shown us throughout the years."

He added: "We look forward to focusing our efforts on our State Fair location and re-connecting with our customers throughout the year."

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The pub was first opened at the corner of Snelling and Selby Avenues in 1941 by James Freeman O'Gara, initially selling food and booze to local workers manufacturing weaponry to be used in World War II.

It claimed to be the oldest family-run operation in St. Paul that has stayed at its same location, with the bar staying in the O'Gara family as it was passed from father to son over its almost-80-year history.

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