Paddy’s Sports Bar and Grill marks 20 years |

Paddy’s Sports Bar and Grill marks 20 years

Daily Staff Report
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In 1983, Avon was a collection of trailers and a bowling alley with a few scattered condos. Edwards was even less.

The STOL-Port, at the site of today’s box stores, brought in daily air shuttles from Denver and a tennis bubble served as the base lodge for Beaver Creek – two years old at the time.

In Eagle-Vail, the first of many homes were being built, and a small strip of commercial spaces were all that served what was then considered “down valley.”

Ruby’s Restaurant had been the hub of activity for those old Vailites, brave enough to venture westward into the unknown of down-valley development.

When a fire destroyed the restaurant a year earlier, a huge void was left in the social fabric of the growing area.

It was out of the ashes of this unfortunate incident that Dale Ohde, a former manager at Ruby’s and Pat MacDonald, a local builder, created what was to become one of the Vail Valley’s most successful and enduring landmarks.

This winter, Paddy’s Sports Bar and Grill celebrates 20 years of serving up great food, drink and sports viewing and, more importantly, memories to working stiffs and tourists alike.

Originally christened Paddy O’Day’s Riverside Roadhouse, Ohde and MacDonald – along with John Nichols – envisioned a classic neighborhood bar and grille that would pick up where Ruby’s left off – slightly more upscale and with more emphasis on sports.

Covered with personalized sports memorabilia and a photographic collection of the owner’s hunting and fishing expeditions, Paddy’s walls offer a veritable who’s who of the many characters that can still be found haunting the premises on a regular basis, twenty years later. It is, quite literally, “the place where everybody knows your name.”

Dale Ohde, the only original owner left, along with current co-owner, Ralph Dockery, have continued to make sure that the original spirit of Paddy’s remains intact. No mean feat, in an increasingly competitive and dynamic restaurant environment.

Ohde and Dockery have avoided bells and whistles, instead counting on a philosophy of great family food at great family prices to ensure a continued and loyal following by locals and visitors alike.

Paddy’s recently decided to ban smoking inside the establishment.

“I just felt it was time – based on what’s happening with the demographics in the U.S.,” said Dockery. “California and New York have outlawed smoking entirely in their public places (restaurants and bars). The final decision was based on the health and comfort of our customers and employees.”

For more information, call 949-6093.

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