Running through the heart of downtown Centralia is historic Tower Avenue. The tree-lined street is reminiscent of a by-gone era where mom-and-pop shops supplied the town’s needs – a time when neighbors gathered for conversation over coffee, celebrated over a pint, or shared recent news over a shopkeeper’s counter.

oblarneys irish pub
Jeff Malloy, owner of O’Blarney’s at the Gibson House on N Tower Avenue in downtown Centralia, views the Pub’s customers as friends.

Despite the passage of years and changing signage on the shops, Tower Avenue hasn’t changed all that much. Independently owned stores, restaurants and theaters line the cobblestone streets and neighbors still gather for coffee and conversation regularly. For the past four years, one Tower Avenue hub has joined together friends, family, colleagues and community in its cozy Irish pub atmosphere and spacious, well-appointed meeting spaces. O’Blarney’s at the Gibson House reminds Lewis County residents what it feels like to be among friends.

Opened in December 2011, O’Blarney’s Irish Pub came to Lewis County after decades of success at their Lacey location. Jeff Malloy, managing partner of O’Blarney’s at the Gibson House, started with O’Blarney’s Irish Pub in 1991, making his way up through the ranks. The group knew they wanted to open a second location and had their eyes open for the perfect spot.

oblarneys irish pub
With over 17 televisions broadcasting nearly every team, O’Blarney’s is the place to be on game day.

“What sold us on Centralia was the good feeling you get from the downtown,” explains Malloy. “The cobblestone side streets, the friendly, clean, walkable Tower Avenue, and the quaint small town feel all just felt right to us.”

The perfect space was found in the Gibson House on the corner of North Tower Avenue and West Magnolia Street. “The space was just gorgeous,” says Malloy. “The woodwork was extensive and the building itself was just a handsome, old building.” The space has a lengthy history, too. Malloy hears stories from customers about when the building was Proffit’s Department Store or when the third floor held medical offices. At one point, the space housed a pharmacy and gift shop called “The Gibson House” and the name stuck. To this day, the building retains the moniker and locals know it by the historic name.

In early 2011, Malloy and his business partners began to transform the space to reflect the warm Irish pub atmosphere O’Blarney’s is known for. The space was divided into a spacious family dining side and a pub side by a wall of windows mimicking the exterior of a traditional Irish pub.

oblarneys irish pub
The family dining portion of the restaurant is divided from the pub by a clever window wall, mimicking the exterior of a traditional Irish pub.

“We really want to be a gathering space for everybody in the community,” Malloy shares. O’Blarney’s is often the site of celebrations where family and friends mark milestones such as birthdays, graduations, reunions, and more. The restaurant can easily accommodate large groups and for those seeking a quieter space, a private dining room is available, seating up to 14. “Many groups use the dining space for lunch meetings or when they want a more intimate, quiet meal,” Malloy explains. The space is free – just give O’Blarney’s a call to make a reservation.

The second floor houses the Gibson House Event Center. Available for public rental, O’Blarney’s also offers the space for many community events. The Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce, Centralia Rotary, Relay for Life Lewis County, Pope’s Kids Place, and many more use the space for meetings, events and celebrations. With two distinct spaces, room for 200+ guests, and full catering services, Gibson House Event Center is perfect for receptions, weddings, reunions, and more.

oblarneys irish pub
O’Blarney’s is a landmark on Centralia’s quaint, walkable North Tower Avenue and a gathering place for neighbors and friends.

Back downstairs, the pub embraces a festive, sports bar atmosphere and is a local destination for watching Seahawks games as well as Mariners, Sounders, and a host of college sporting events. The 17 televisions spread throughout the space are wired with the best technology and nearly every channel available by Olympia-based Desco AV ensuring no one misses their team’s big game.

True to its name, O’Blarney’s specializes in traditional Irish fare and their menu features a selection of favorites all year long, not just on St. Patrick’s Day. Corned beef is slow cooked from scratch year round and Irish soda bread is made in house daily. Bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie round out the Irish offerings.

Not in the mood for Irish food? No problem. O’Blarney’s menu is extensive and features something for everyone. “We take great pride in our whole menu,” says Malloy. “Our Irish food is popular but our wings are one of our biggest sellers.” The burgers are juicy and delicious and Friday and Saturday nights feature Prime Rib dinners at the Centralia location. An affordable, and appealing, kids menu keeps the little ones happy.

oblarneys irish pub
O’Blarney’s occupies the historic Gibson House building with the pub on the first floor and the Gibson House Event Center on the second.

“We really try and provide something for everyone,” Malloy explains. “We want people to look to O’Blarney’s as a place to come, stay, and celebrate. We believe that our customers are only a stranger once. After that, we consider them friends.”

During his years at the Lacey location, Malloy would see families come in regularly, watching the kids grow up and celebrating with them when they reached 21 and could venture into the pub area. He hopes to do the same on Tower Avenue, raising a pint with his neighbors, celebrating wins and commiserating over losses, and creating a community hub for all of Lewis County.

O’Blarney’s at the Gibson House
221 N. Tower Ave, Centralia
Find O’Blarney’s on Facebook.


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