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Monday, September 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Milford’s Fish House building to find new life as Irish pub

UPDATED: Sun., June 30, 2019, 9:53 a.m.

Milford’s Fish House, which closed in February 2018, is seen in 2016 at North Monroe Street and West Broadway Avenue. The building soon will be home to Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub, which has locations in Fremont, Everett and downtown Seattle. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Milford’s Fish House, which closed in February 2018, is seen in 2016 at North Monroe Street and West Broadway Avenue. The building soon will be home to Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub, which has locations in Fremont, Everett and downtown Seattle. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The building that once housed Milford’s Fish House is nearly a century old, but it still knows how to court a new suitor.

The 94-year-old structure sitting vacant north of the Monroe Street Bridge will soon start its next chapter when Irish eatery Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub moves in later this year.

The Everett-based, family-owned restaurant chain, which has locations in Everett, downtown Seattle and the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle, broke the news on Facebook Friday morning.

“Well, it’s official!” the post said. “We bought a cool, old building for a new O’Donnell’s in Spokane. … In a couple months, it will be Shawn O’Donnell’s-Spokane.”

The building at North Monroe Street and West Broadway Avenue has been empty since February 2018, when Milford’s, a Spokane institution for nearly 40 years, closed.

O’Donnell’s owner and restaurateur Shawn O’Donnell Sr., who is Irish American, said the decision to move to Spokane was easy once he toured the empty Milford’s building late last year at the recommendation of new manager Chase Van Cotthem, who ran the downtown Seattle location.

Not only was the inside immaculately decorated, O’Donnell said, Milford is a small town in County Donegal, Ireland – the same area his ancestors are from.

“Which is a wild coincidence,” he said.

O’Donnell said the new location will use the chain’s customary menu, which features breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a happy hour that offers $5 pints and cocktails. It also will have a full bar – something Milford’s had been missing since 2014, when owner Jerry Young hinted at retirement.

O’Donnell expects the restaurant to be open by September.

Menu items include traditional Irish cuisine such as corned beef and cabbage, braised pork shanks and shepherd’s pie, in addition to American favorites like burgers and wraps. There’s an English offering, too: fish and chips, with endless fries and homemade tartar sauce.

The pub also will offer an extensive whiskey list. O’Donnell said the bar will have 14 tap handles, with up to five Irish beers and a rotating list of local brews.

Online reviews for the three locations are overwhelmingly positive, with patrons particularly impressed by the quality of the food.

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