Jeff Stewart & O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grill


By Ryan Stone

O’Connell’s Irish Pub and Grill is a staple in Norman and also plays a pivotal role in the local sports scene serving as the host for Norman, Norman North, Noble and Little Axe High Schools.

Jeff Stewart is the Owner of O’Connell’s and takes great pride in the grill being involved in local sports.

“I’m not really sure how it got started, but we just decided to do it, we want to be involved in the community in a big way, so we decided to try it and the turnout has been great. I’ve always enjoyed being involved with intramural activities even at OU we get involved with some of the club sports live men’s and women’s sports. It builds our customer base within the high schools and the local communities,” said Stewart.

The bar originally opened in 1968 on Lindsay and Jenkins and in 2008 the University of Oklahoma bought that corner for dorms. O’Connell’s then moved to campus corner in 2010. Stewart has been at O’Connell’s since 1979. He had just gotten out of college and bought a movie theater in Moore and the person he bought it from owned five percent of O’Connell’s and asked if he’d be interested and the rest is history.

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Some might say with all their doing that O’Connell’s is involved enough with local sports, but Stewart says they aren’t satisfied.

“We hope to get more and more involved in the future,” said Stewart, “not totally sure in what fashion, but we do hope to get more and more involved. It’s great to see the kid’s enthusiasm. We also support the booster clubs for Norman and Norman North.”

The prominence of the high school sports programs has also brought some big names through the doors at O’Connell’s. Both of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops’ sons have been on the coaches show and former Oklahoma basketball star and Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young has been in a few times as well.

The coaches shows have also been good for O’Connell’s business.

“We see quite a few people come back after they’ve been on the shows, some of the kids come back and the parents are very appreciative, so they come in quite a bit and really help with return business,” said Stewart.

The coaches shows can be heard on AM 1400 Sports Talk. Tyler Austin hosts the shows and gets with the coaches from each school to set them up. The shows schedule changes based around the team’s schedules.