Neither Dan nor Tim Carrigan had run a restaurant, but that didn’t stop the Johnson County brothers from diving into the food business.
Two years ago, the Carrigan brothers bought Paddy O’Quigley’s, a family-friendly neighborhood Irish pub and sports bar on West 151st Street. Despite their lack of experience, the Carrigans were long on family ties to the restaurant. The Carrigans are cousins of the Intfen family, prior owners of Paddy O’Quigley’s. The Carrigans formed their own company, Irish Brothers LLC, and went full-steam ahead with the pub, embracing its longstanding motto.
“‘Family and friends forever’ is emblazoned on our crest,” Dan Carrigan said. “When people come here they know they are going to see familiar faces.”
While the Carrigans are new to the restaurant, Paddy O’Quigley’s will mark its 25th anniversary in business this fall.
Q: How did your purchase of the restaurant come about?
Dan Carrigan was living in Austin, and Tim was in the Kansas City area.
“Our cousin Tom Intfen told family members he was looking to retire and sent notice to family and friends,” said Dan Carrigan, who decided to return to the Kansas City area because of his father’s health. The brothers talked about teaming up to buy the restaurant, and before long the deal was done.”
“We called it the passing of the Shillelagh,” said Dan Carrigan with a laugh.
The brothers self-financed the purchase and used an attorney to make sure all the legal issues were handled appropriately, including trademarks associated with the brand.
“We did have quite a bit of a learning curve in the beginning,” Dan Carrigan said. But the brothers found a workable solution to the dilemma.
“We really relied on our managers, especially in that first year,” he said. “Now we’re trying to see what works and what doesn’t work for us.”
To help them in the transition, the brothers retained a number of key employees.
“We retained a lot of the staff, including two general managers, and we worked with them to make the changes we wanted,” Tim Carrigan said. Paddy O’Quigley’s has several longtime employees; past employees often come back to visit, too.
“We have a reunion night, and it’s so amazing with all these people who come back who met her and now are married,” Dan Carrigan said. “It’s pretty interesting.”
Q: What is the division of duties for the brothers?
Both brothers have day jobs; Tim Carrigan is a vice president of delivery for Andrew Reise Consulting, specializing in customer experience.
“Here I get to try to put my money where my mouth is,” he said.
Dan Carrigan works for Dell in tech sales. For Paddy O’Quigley’s, Dan serves as its president.
“I am responsible for day to day, and Tim does a lot of marketing and social media,” Dan Carrigan said. “Everyone pitches in.”
Q: There are many pubs and sports bars in the Johnson Count area. How do you compete?
“We strive to have the best food and most expansive menu of our style of restaurant, and we hang our hat on that,” Tim Carrigan said. “We make our own salsa and barbecue sauce. We cook our wings from the raw standpoint not half cooked and finish them off when they are ordered.”
Paddy O’Quigley’s offers regular specials, including Tuesday night burgers.
“Now we’ve expanded it to all day Tuesday,” Dan Carrigan said.
The restaurant is committed to doing charity events as well; one is the local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Paddy O’Quigley’s Burger Wars.
“May is burger month, so we ask staff and patrons to submit their best burger recipe and we choose four to five of them to put on the menu,” Dan Carrigan said. “ They compete, and the one with the most sales during the month is the winner, and it goes on the menu permanently.
Those interested may still submit recipes through Sunday.
The brothers also focus on seasonal promotions.
“We’ve really embraced our patio and will make that a focal point for the summer,” Tim Carrigan said. “We’re adding live music on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights in May and throughout the summer.”
The brothers also reach out to the public using social media.
“We also sponsor events and dinners,” Dan Carrigan said. “There are a lot of teachers in our family, so any time a teacher asks we’re there to help.”
Paddy O’Quigley’s is trying to expand its catering services, as well.
“Nothing too small or too big, and there are a lot of items that are not on our menu,” Dan Carrigan said.
Q: How do you balance having day jobs, your restaurant and families?
“We both have very supportive families,” Tim Carrigan said. “Dan’s wife does a lot of the books here and helps with that.”
“Our employees are key to our success,” Dan Carrigan said.
IN A NUTSHELL
COMPANY: Paddy O’Quigley’s Pub & Grille
ADDRESS: 5317 W. 151st St., Leawood, KS 66224
WEB SITE: www.oquigleys.com