The new owner of its 1906-built building wants to retrofit the basement, so F.X. McRory's and its 1,600 bottles of booze must move.
There are Irish wakes, and then there is the one Mick McHugh will host on June 11, when F.X. McRory’s Steak Chop & Oyster House closes its landmark Pioneer Square location and prepares to move to a smaller space in the neighborhood.
The building, located on Occidental Avenue and King Street, was built in 1906 and once housed the Stewart and Holmes Drug Company, then the McKesson-Robbins warehouse. The new owner wants to retrofit the basement, and McRory’s needs to move on after almost 40 years.
“My heart broke a few weeks ago, but I am repairing it a bit,” McHugh said the other day. He couldn’t say where McRory’s would be relocating, only that it would be close by.
“The goal is to McRory-ize the new place with the soul, the spirit and the materials,” he said.
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That will mean quite the job for movers, who will have to transport a 96-foot marble bar, 28 brass beer taps and more than 1,600 bottles of booze from the mirrored wall behind the bar.
McHugh spoke of moving down to Pioneer Square in 1977, when there were only about a dozen bars in the neighborhood. (There are now 106.) McRory’s was there before the Kingdome was completed, and was the place to go before Mariners, Sounders, Seahawks and even Sonics games.
And there was the time Conan O’Brien popped into the annual Irish Week Proclamation Luncheon while touring to promote his “Tonight Show” takeover in 2009.
“The bar has always been my favorite spot in the place,” McHugh said. “I’m Irish. I’m a bar guy. It’s just perfect. The 19-foot ceilings, the marble, the benches. It’s just a beautiful place.”
McHugh was mum on the new location until the final details are sorted out, but did say he hoped one of his four kids would take over someday.
“They know how to eat and they knew how to drink, and I’m hopeful that in a couple of years one of them will be able to step in and give me a break.”
In the meantime, head on down there, raise a glass and raise it high: It will be hard to beat 19-foot ceilings.