Our History

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 Tom.


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.

Owner John O'Toole and his lovely wife Angela



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 left off.

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 very day.

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 1966."