O’Meara’s was the name of one of the first saloons in Dow City and the name will return when a new restaurant/bar opens there next month.
The new O’Meara’s is the creation of Connie Garrett, Jeannie Wood and Don Carstens, who are all graduates of the former Dow City High School.
“Jeannie and I graduated together and Don was a couple of years older,” Garrett said.
O’Meara’s is located in the building next to the Dow City Post Office on the west side of Franklin Street.
Garrett, Wood and Carstens have been working hard to bring the building back to life.
Over the years, the building had housed the Dow City drug store, an appliance store, an insurance company and two day care businesses.
It sat unused for more than a decade.
Carstens said the deterioration of the building has been the biggest obstacle.
The back wall was in very bad shape, so he removed it – and discovered that the back floor of the building had dropped about 14 inches over the years.
After raising the floor, new kitchen and restroom areas were added to the back of the building.
Wainscoting from the ceiling was used to dress the exterior walls of the new rooms.
“We tried to save as much as possible,” Garrett said.
The floor has been stripped of its coverings down to the original wood, which will be treated and used as the floor surface.
Garrett said the hardest part so far was uncovering the brick on the north wall, the upper part of which was covered in about three-quarters of an inch of plaster.
“We chipped away at that and ground it out,” Wood said.
“And then we put acid on it and washed it,” Garrett said.
The bottom section of brick had never been plastered, so they worked to make both sets of brick look the same.
They plan to restore the front of the building and clean up the large windows by the entrance.
After many hours of labor, the building is starting to come together.
O’Meara’s will be a restaurant/bar with simple but good food, Garrett said. Pizza, quesadillas and nachos will make up the initial menu.
Draft and canned beer, Iowa wines, martinis and margaritas will be the primary drinks.
“It will be a variety and we’ll be switching it up with specials,” Wood said. “We hope to have a signature drink to make it fun.”
An outdoor seating area will be added in the future.
Garrett said one of the reasons for opening the bar will be to have another business open in Dow City and to have a place to go with friends.
The plan is to open O’Meara’s in the early part of October.