November 2009

     Rewind to August 1980: O’Connell’s Pub was established for 18 years, in their new digs for only 8 years, and waitress Norah McDermott had only put in one-third of her career when I first stepped foot into the pub. It was my freshmen year at CBC High School and my driver to and fro said, “Meet me out at the van at 11 a.m.”, another first for me -- and last -- skipping school. Apparently the reason for cutting class was, he had to turn in his application for St. Louis University; next on the agenda was Lunch. This is when I discovered the best roast beef sandwich in St. Louis, O’Connell’s Pub, and what happens when you don’t have enough cash for the tip. After carefully calculating the few dollars and cents in my pocket I placed my order with a woman that I would face-off with later. I remember her long straight hair, stern personality and a wad of cash tightly clinched in her fingers as I ordered a rare roast beef and water. The check arrived and I plunked down my share of the bill and headed for the door with Ms. McDermott in hot pursuit. She informed me of the economic system that waitresses operate under, and that my 10 cent tip was not part of it, but it’s all I had. For the next 27 years I repaid my debt many times over and would voluntarily continue to do so, except Norah McDermott retired in 2007. O’Connell’s for me has since been the location of first dates, dinners before sporting events and a gathering place for family and friends. Read Johnny Rabbitt’s history lesson of the Pub: Inside St. Louis

Insider Tip: Paying the tab with a credit card is acceptable however when it comes to tipping: remember all bartenders, waiters and waitresses want CASH! 

Our Restoration Department is back to work after a lengthy hiatus. Farming operations and vacations have ended and the cool wet weather has sent us back into the shop. See the completed PARKING sign from Federhofer’s Bakery, Affton Missouri.

The best antiques show as far as we are concerned is next month: the Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine & Jukebox Show. View our Event Calendar for complete details.

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Event Calendar

Restoration Dept.


The Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot-Machine & Jukebox Show is the largest show of its type in the world!


Now completed, the original PARKING sign from Affton, Missouri's world renowned Federhofer's Bakery.


Inside St. Louis - O'Connells Pub

This month, Johnny Rabbitt explores the
rich history behind
O'Connell's Pub.

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