Gallagher’s: from their family to yours

Pictured, from left, is the Gallagher clan, Kasey, Jered, Cody, Shaun, Susie, John, James, Cory, Kylee and Kelly. (Alan Dooley photo)

In the nearly nine years it has been open, Gallagher’s in Waterloo has built a relationship with the community – a true family relationship.

The restaurant, located at 114 W. Mill Street in Waterloo, has been owned and operated by the Gallagher family since its beginnings in 2005.

In 2003, John Gallagher and his wife Susie bought the building in downtown Waterloo and renovated it to be opened for business two years later.

It’s a recognizable and large building, and has been standing at its present location since 1881.

James Gallagher, John’s son and the general manager of the restaurant, said the whole Gallagher family has been involved in the restaurant since its beginnings and continues to play many important roles.

“Some of the staff here have been members of our staff since opening day, including our chef, and that’s something we’re really proud of,” he said. “They’re a part of our family.”

As far as Gallagher family members, there are currently three generations who work at the restaurant.

“Six of the eight Gallagher children work here in some capacity,” James said. “It all has its ups and downs.”

In the early years, James said it was very hectic trying to figure out what the community wanted and expected out of a new restaurant, along with what the family was capable of providing.

“It was a wild ride then, and it’s still pretty wild now, but more relaxed because we know what to expect from the community,” he said. “We’ve become a fine-tuned machine and can provide a quality meal to our customers confidently.”

As the years have gone on and the restaurant and the Gallagher family have formed a relationship with the community, they continue to make every effort to provide the best service and deals they can.

“In the recent years, we’ve made it our goal to offer an affordable good time,” James said.

The restaurant has a variety of deals during the week that make it a standout place to stop any day of the week.

People come from miles around to eat the restaurant’s famous fried chicken, which was voted best in the St. Louis region by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

James said one of the things he has realized about the restaurant is its value to the community.

“It means as much to the community as it does to our family,” he said. “Overwhelming support from friends, neighbors and customers make (Gallaghers) a cornerstone.”

He said people will come in with large groups, with their families to have a steak dinner, or just to stop by the bar and have a drink.

“The majority of the people who walk through our doors truly bring a smile to our staff’s faces,” he said. “There’s a familiarity there, after so many years, and I can’t wait for the future.”

In the future, the Gallagher family has big plans for the restaurant.

They have purchased the lot behind the restaurant and are planning on expanding.

“Due to the popularity and amount of customers coming through, we have about three ideas on the table right now of what to do with that space,” James said. “We’ll let the community know in the very near future, but it will be big and exciting.”

For more information on Gallagher’s, call 939-9933 or visit online at

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