|4800 Forest Hill Avenue Richmond, Virginia (804) 233-1781
|James "Jim" Edward O'Toole
Founder of O'Toole's Restaurant
Richmond's legendary O'Toole's Restaurant
was founded in 1966 by Mr. James Edward
O'Toole. James, also known as Jim, was the
son of Irish parents, who immigrated to the
United States in 1920. Shortly after arriving
in the U.S. Jim became the first among his
immediate family to be born on American
soil. His wife, Marie F. Shortell-O'Toole's
family immigrated to the United States at the
turn of the 20th Century.
The O'Toole's family eventually settled in
the coal-rich region of Western Pennsyl-
vania, where Jim worked for a bottling
company that serviced concessions at
Pittsburgh Steelers games. There, Jim and
Marie bore four sons, Jimmy, Bill, John, and
In 1959 Jim was transferred to Richmond,
Virginia, where he would later pursue his
lifelong dream of owning a neighborhood
Irish pub and restaurant. In 1966 that dream
became a reality as O'Toole's Restaurant
opened its doors in the Westover Hills
district of Southside Richmond.
Jim realized the importance of authenticity, and in keeping with true Irish customs, served
traditional dishes and liquid spirits, provided Celtic music, and even adorned his restaurant
with Irish coat of arms. Since first opening, O'Toole's Restaurant has celebrated every Saint
Patrick's Day with all the Irish fixings, complete with kilt-donning bagpipes musicians.
Throughout the years, people from all over the nation have come to O'Toole's Restaurant to
celebrate Saint Patty's Day, and have left with a better understanding and appreciation of
true Irish culture.
Sadly, Jim passed away in 1998. Blessed with a long, successful life, he was 78 years young
when the Lord called him home. His 3rd eldest son, John, immediately picked up where he
In 2008, John made major changes to O'Toole's Restaurant without compromising what
O'Toole's Restaurant has been known for. These changes included the additions of a VIP
room, a reception room and a sports bar section, where fans and fantasy leagues have
conducted their meetings and drafts, as well as enjoyed watching their favorite teams battle
it out for supremacy.
Through years of hard work, dedication and a keen eye for detail, O'Toole's Restaurant has
become Richmond's most respected and loved Irish pub; and that legacy continues to this
As our commercials say, "From proposals to divorces, birthdays to wakes, O'Toole's
Restaurant is THE place to hold your special event."
Come see us! We're O'Toole's Restaurant, "Where Friends and Neighbors have met since
|We're a smoke-free
Owner John O'Toole and his lovely wife Angela