NORMAN — A pair of Norman traditions are scheduled to start anew today — University of Oklahoma football and festivities at O'Connell's Irish Pub & Grille.
The O'Connell's on Campus Corner is scheduled to open at a new location, 769 Asp Ave., after 15 months of renovation work — just in time for the 2008 OU football season. "We might have a private run Friday to make sure everything is ready,” co-owner Jeff Stewart said. "But we're going to open by game day Saturday.” Stewart said the original O'Connell's on E Lindsey Street, which opened in 1968, will remain open through the rest of this year and perhaps part or all of 2009. The original O'Connell's restaurant — and its parking lot — is a popular spot for OU fans on football game days and is known for festive St. Patrick's Day celebrations that start early in the morning and stretch late into the night. The restaurant was relocated to Campus Corner after the University of Oklahoma Foundation purchased most of the block the original O'Connell's sits in September 2006. OU eventually bought the property, and businesses on the block knew they'd eventually have to move. University officials haven't officially announced what they intend to do with the land, but some have indicated it will be turned into a parking lot. The businesses on that land are being allowed to remain open until plans are finalized by the university.
Mikel Crowley and Jeff Stewart, co-owners of O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille, stand in their new Campus Corner location. By steve sisney, THE OKLAHOMAN