In October of 1935, Pat and Veronica McLean marked the repeal of prohibition by putting down $2,850 to buy a small, neighborhood pub at the corner of Lexington and Grand. They flipped a coin and dubbed it The Lexington.
Pat’s brother, Frank, presided over the bar. He was later joined by Don Ryan, a personable, young Marine back from the assault on Guadalacanal.
In time, ‘The Lex’ grew to become the unofficial clubhouse for generations of Hill Area residents.
It’s where Saint Paul mayors Johnny McDonough and Joe Dillon made the decision to throw their hats in the ring.
It’s where the legendary post-wake celebrations have concluded in mournful choruses of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” — after more dignified services at Wilwerscheids Funeral Home.
Most of all, it’s where countless birthdays, weddings and anniversaries have been etched into the memories of Saint Paul families.
Today, the pretzels and peanuts of the 30’s have given way to fabled steaks, chicken tchoupitoula, fresh broiled Atlantic salmon and fresh walleye almondine.
Thankfully, after seventy-three very good years, the warm conversations and comfortable traditions remain the same.