The Norman Transcript

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January 23, 2011

O’Connell’s auctions off memorabilia

NORMAN — Hundreds of people packed the original O’Connell’s Irish Pub and Grille on Lindsey Street to take a little bit of the place with them when they left Saturday evening.

Just about everything in, around and including the bar was for sale to the highest bidder.

Owner Jeff Stewart, who took over the bar in 1979, said he only kept two things from the landmark Norman establishment — the front window and the stained glass that once hung behind the bar.

“They’re irreplaceable,” he said.

Stewart, who attended the auction Saturday and stayed afterward as people started removing items from the bar, said he wasn’t fazed by the loss of so much stuff — at least not yet.

“It doesn’t bother me right now,” he said Saturday night, his bar nearly empty. “But I’m sure tomorrow, when they start taking the rest and this place is totally empty, it might start to.”

According to auctioneer Bill Rackley, more than 290 people registered for the auction. The bar was literally pack from wall to wall, and some people stood inside a sink that was lying on the ground just inside the front door.

Rackley said that despite the massive amount of people in attendance, the three-hour auction went off without a hitch.

“Nobody got in no fights ... everybody was happy,” he said. “This is O’Connell’s.”

The first item to be sold was a display case and its contents just inside the front door. It was filled with T-shirts, beer mugs, plastic cups, shot glasses and Mardis Grads beads. A guy paid $390 for it.

And things were just getting started.

Someone paid $1,000 for a set of four pieces of stained glass that once adorned the front entrance.

The relic-looking Excuse Booth, also just inside the front entrance, sold for $1,050.

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