By Emily Fitzgerald
For the Chamber of Commerce
O’Blarney’s at the Gibson House has enough regulars that managing partner Jeff Malloy estimates staff can take about half of their customers’ orders without them saying anything: the customer just sits down and a server who knows them by name brings their order.
“I think that a lot of them appreciate that friendship that we’ve gained and grown with them,” Malloy said.
With a plethora of options on the menu for all taste buds and a wide variety of beverages on tap, O’Blarney’s customers range from families celebrating birthdays, to friends gathering to watch a ball game, to couples going on a date, to workers getting a drink after a long day, and more.
“We’ve got a little something for everybody, whether it be on the menu or just in the atmosphere that we tried to provide for them,” Malloy said.
Maintaining that friendly atmosphere starts with a tight-knit group of employees, many of whom have recently had their 10 year anniversaries with the business.
“It’s the employees who keep these customers coming, and you just can’t thank them enough for being here and doing the work on a day-in and day-out basis,” he said. “We’ve been so lucky in finding these people that have wrapped their arms around this business and made it their own.”
Some staff members are even volunteering to open O’Blarney’s on Thanksgiving Day, which they normally get off, so they can have customers in for the Seahawks vs. 49ers game.
“We’re not making anybody work — it’s volunteer,” Malloy said. “Some of the staff, they wanted to do it for our customers.”
The Gibson House in Centralia is O’Blarney’s second location, with founders John and Eileen Heelan opening the pub’s first location in Olympia in 1985.
Malloy started as a part-time employee in the kitchen of the Olympia location in 1991 and worked his way up to partner at that location before moving to the Centralia location when it opened in 2011.
O’Blarney’s management signed the lease for the Gibson House in September 2011 and opened its doors the week of the popular Lighted Tractor Parade three months later.
“That was our first Saturday, which was quite an introduction,” Malloy said.
Malloy and his business partner, Mike Heelan, work hard to uphold the standard of excellence John Heelan set at the Olympia location.
“The way he could be around any group of people and just tell a story, and … the joy and the laughter that he could provide for people, he embodies O’Blarney’s. Anybody that’s ever met him would say the same thing,” Malloy said.
O’Blarney’s at the Gibson House is located at 221 N. Tower Ave. in Centralia. Operating hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit https://www. oblarneyspub.com/. Upcoming events will be posted on the business’ Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ OblarneysCentralia.