Longtime local bar to close | VailDaily.com

Longtime local bar to close

EAGLE-VAIL – Paddy’s is closed, maybe forever.

Owners Rob and Susan Swimm were planning to lock the doors after closing on Friday, but failed health inspection shut down the Eagle-Vail bar and restaurant Tuesday afternoon. The Swimms are planning an auction of the sports and local memorabilia from the walls, and hope to hold it later this week at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion.

The Swimms were the third owners of Paddy’s since it opened in 1983. Founder Pat McDonald sold the place to Ralph Dockery in 1993, and the Swimms bought the operation last year.

Things seemed to be going well at first, Susan said.

“We turned a profit through the winter, which I thought was really great for a business in its first year,” Swimm said.

Then came the usual spring doldrums, coupled with a summer-long construction project that limited access to the place.

Rob Swimm said in an interview a couple of weeks ago that he and Susan planned to keep Paddy’s open as long as they could, but wasn’t sure how much longer they could keep going. In the end, though, the couple simply couldn’t overcome mounting financial losses. That’s why the memorabilia is going under the auctioneer’s hammer later this week – to help pay down the debts.

“This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Susan said. “But it’s the right thing to do.”

While the Swimms owned Paddy’s for little more than a year, Susan said she’s been thrilled by the community support for the place, and the loyalty of the employees.

“It’s an amazing place,” she said. “We’re just grateful to everyone who’s come in.”

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