Spokane Journal of Business

O’Donnell’s American Grill & Irish Pub to open in mid-October


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Seattle-based Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill & Irish Pub plans to open a new restaurant in the building that once housed Milford’s Fish House, at 719 N. Monroe.

The family-run business has three restaurants in the Seattle area; this restaurant marks the family’s first beyond western Washington, says Molly O’Donnell, wife of Shawn O’Donnell Jr.

Spokane resident Chase Van Cotthem will serve as O’Donnell’s general manager here. Van Cotthem teamed up with Shawn O’Donnell Sr. to buy the vacant building, located about a block east of the Spokane County Courthouse. The O’Donnells also operate a restaurant two blocks from Seattle’s courthouse in downtown.

“Chase is the one that made this happen,” Molly O’Donnell says. “He did the research, compiled the information and everybody said, ‘hey, these are our kind of people.’’’

Being near downtown’s core, the emergence of Kendall Yards and other nearby neighborhoods all makes for a good fit, she says.

“Like all of our restaurants, it will be family friendly,” she says. “We’ve seen more success operating as a public house as opposed to just a tavern-style location.

Van Cotthem and Shawn O’Donnell Jr. were childhood friends. Van Cotthem’s wife has family in the Spokane area, and after starting their family four years ago, the couple saw an opportunity to move to Spokane, O’Donnell says.

The building, which operated as Milford’s for nearly 40 years, is in good shape, she says.

“The front of the building is in great condition. In the back, new flooring and a hood system in the kitchen will be installed,” she says.

Van Cotthem says lunch and dinner will be the restaurant’s main meals with consideration being given to brunch hours on weekends. Final hours haven’t been set, but he says plans call for the restaurant to operate seven days a week.

Irish staples such as corned beef and cabbage – soaked daily in Guinness for at least six hours – and shepherd’s pie highlight the Irish fare, while specialty burgers and fries will also be served, he says.

Kevin Blocker
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