NewsMontana and Regional News


New Butte pub offers authentic Irish charm and hospitality

irish johnny pub.jpg
Posted at 10:40 AM, Mar 15, 2024

It’s said that Butte is the most Irish town in America and that’s why an Irishman has opened an authentic Irish pub in Uptown, because ever since he was a young lad back in the old country, he’s been fascinated with the Mining City.

“Before I knew about Boston, before I knew about New York or Chicago, I knew about Butte, and it was always talked about in these mythical terms, it was talked about almost like it was a fable—the story of Butte, America,” said the man who goes simply by the name Irish Johnny.

And the new pub and restaurant embraces the charm and hospitality of rural Ireland.

Irish Johnny recently opened Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub at 123 N. Main Street in Uptown Butte.

“You’re going to notice, we don’t have any televisions at this Irish pub. This is a place that promotes conversation, getting to know our neighbors, having a chat with the person on the stool next to you, getting to know your friends,” said Irish Johnny.

“What more could an Irishman want than to be living in the Ireland of the Rockies, working in an Irish pub, and living above an Irish pub? There’s not much more than I could ask for,” he said.

He modeled his business on traditional pubs found in Tipperary. It features spirits and traditional Irish food including shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and corned beef and cabbage all year around.

Shawn O'Donnell's American Grill & Irish Pub
Shawn O'Donnell's American Grill & Irish Pub

“I feel like this is a natural marriage. You take a little Irish pub, you put it in the heart of Uptown Butte. It’s a match made in heaven. What more could you want?” said Irish Johnny.

Irish Johnny praised city officials and businesses for helping him get started and supporting his venture. And he sees a bright future in the Mining City.

“Every corner we have turned, the message from our neighbors is, ‘What can we do for you? Do you need help with this? Do you need help with that?’ Lights are turning on in Uptown Butte and we’re part of that. We’re not the only part, but lights are going on all over Butte,” he said.

irish johnny.jpg

The restaurant website states:

If you are familiar with us, you probably know who Irish Johnny is. Born and raised in Ireland, he has helped us stay true to our Irish roots. He shared his love for Butte, Montana with us, which brought us to our newest location. Now moving across state lines we are excited to expand to our first location outside of Washington.