O’Doherty’s became Whitworth’s newest neighbor when they opened a new location at the intersection of Hawthorne Road and Division Street in July. Owner of the north Spokane O’Doherty’s, Shannon O’Doherty, considered the location’s proximity to Whitworth a desirable characteristic. The pub hosted a night for Whitworth seniors Thursday, Sept. 15 and said they hope to continue a similar tradition.
O’Doherty’s original location in downtown Spokane got its start in May of 1992 when O’Doherty’s brother opened up the Irish pub in downtown Spokane. Keeping with his Irish identity he dubbed it with his last name.
“Inspiration to open O’Doherty’s was our lives,” O’Doherty said. “We’re Irish-Americans.”
With locations already downtown and in Spokane Valley, the establishment felt the need to expand the business.
“We needed to grow,” O’Doherty said.
Something O’Doherty’s has come to find is the warm reception from residents it has received since establishing the pub on the north side.
The pub has a goal of returning the hospitality to its customers as well. Irish hospitality is a high aspiration in the eyes of the employees.
“That’s what we try to sell,” O’Doherty said. “We try to sell hospitality.”
Night manager Jeph Barlow and other employees agree that hospitality is important for the establishment.
“First thing we say is come on in and make yourself at home,” Barlow said.
Irish heritage is infused into the pub. There are three Irish beers on tap: Guinness, Harp and Smithwick. O’Doherty receives comments about the quality of the beer they serve. The popularity contributes to the fast pace in which they go through their supplies.
The pub also serves traditional dishes including shepherd’s pie and a pastie recipe from an Irish friend from Butte, Montana. These pasties were the food of choice for Irish miners working at the copper mines of Butte. A pastie is a pie crust pocket filled with beef, vegetables and topped off with a layer of gravy.
“It’s a real pastie,” customer Dave Mischaud said.
Mischaud has had authentic pasties from Montana restaurants and says he is not the only one who agrees on the quality of O’Doherty’s Irish dish.
Along with the authentic Irish dishes, O’Doherty’s also serves a variety of other meals, from burgers to sandwiches and salads.
“We play the Irish music, we serve the Irish beer and we serve the Irish-American food,” O’Doherty said.
To create the Irish environment, O’Doherty’s downtown is full of artwork. O’Doherty said the north side pub is a blank slate allowing customers to add to the character. A Notre Dame flag draped from the ceiling and a picture of a customer in front of the Guinness brewery are the first customer pieces to decorate the pub.
Along with welcoming customer decor, O’Doherty has more plans for the future. Whitworth student discounts are in the works along with plans for St. Patrick’s Day. One goal is to make the north side O’Doherty’s as well-known as the pub downtown for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and O’Doherty said he has big plans as he pointed to the St. Patrick’s Day countdown clock.
For a listing of what O’Doherty’s serves, visit the website at odohertyspub.com and keep an eye out for Whitworth specials.
By Melissa Barringer