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Citing regulations and 'taprooms,' O'Gara's won't reopen in St. Paul

O'Gara's Bar & Grill originally opened in 1941, and was supposed to re-open again next year.

O'Gara's Bar & Grill originally opened in 1941, and was supposed to re-open again next year. Leila Navidi/Star Tribune

After 75-plus years in business in St. Paul, O'Gara's Bar and Grill is done for good.

The Pioneer Press broke news last night that the iconic bar would not reopen for business next year, as owners had planned and loyal cusotmers had hoped. The bar shuttered in 2018 for construction of an apartment complex over its existing location, but owners Dan and Kris O'Gara said the bar would come back (in a smaller space) on the ground floor of the new building.

As of mid-2018, plans for the development included 163 apartments, a co-working space, and a 4,100-square-foot bar space (plus outdoor patio) reserved for the rebirth of O'Gara's, which has been at the corner of Selby Avenue and Snelling Avenue since 1941. 

Dan O'Gara tells the PiPress deciding not to reopen came after "considerable reflection and analysis," specifically calling out a couple factors for why they're not coming back.

“Ultimately, the changing regulatory environment and increased competition from taprooms made re-entering the market in St. Paul financially untenable," O'Gara said.

He went on to thank customers for their loyalty to the bar, and construction developers Ryan Companies for attempting to find a workable solution for the business' resurrection. O'Gara says he and his wife "look forward to reconnecting with our customers throughout the year." 

It's not clear what that means, though O'Gara's will continue to run a bar/restaurant at the Minnesota State Fair.