Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mike Houlihan Celebrates 35 Years of Boz O'Brien's Reilly's Daughter Pub -Oak Lawn and Midway Airport

The Great Boz O'Brien and son Brendan

I was not a fast bartender' nor, was I a slow bartender; Boz O'Brien said that I was a "Half Fast Bartender." At least that was how I recall James "Boz" O'Brien's assessment. I was part of the early crews ( 1975-77) pouring, uncapping and mixing wholesome beverages to fine folks at Reilly's Daughter Pub.

Irish American News presents Chicago Renaissance Man and Brasseuse on the Loose, Mike Houlihan's penning of a poignant paen to one of the great Captains of the Counter - Boz O'Brien on the 35th Anniversary of the Birth of Reilly's Daughter

Here's a shot -

It was June 16, Bloomsday, 1976 when Boz O’Brien opened his saloon, Reilly’s Daughter, in Oak Lawn at 111th and Pulaski. A shopping mall seems a strange place for a tavern but it had plenty of parking and it became the most popular watering hole in Chicagoland for anybody coming of age in the final three decades of the last century.

If ever there was a place where everybody knew your name, this was the place.

Boz tells me the secret of his success has always been the people who work at Reilly’s, but his talents as the PT Barnum of bar owners never hurt.

Boz once booked a pair of CTA cars for a 3 hour pre-St. Paddy’s train ride all over Chicago on the EL It was 1977 and on Feb. 7th of that year four cars had derailed and fallen off the track at Lake and Wabash. Somebody at the CTA figured that having these Irish kids party on the EL only a month after the crash might show Chicago that there was nothing to fear. It was a public relations stroke of genius and Reilly’s Daughter sold out all 200 tickets for the ride.

Click my title for a full swallow!

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