Tracing the history of the Jennings family on Excelsior Blvd. is complicated, in that there are many buildings involved, and many uses made of each building over the years. The Park Commons redevelopment project has eliminated all of the original Jennings establishments, but it is important to study them as they were an integral part of the Excelsior Blvd. strip.
Jennings Tavern was established at 4630 Excelsior Blvd. in 1934.
JENNINGS LIQUORS I, TIMOTHY O’TOOLE’S, GIPPERS
Mike Jennings opened Jennings Liquors at 4608 Excelsior Blvd. in about 1946, although it may have been as early as 1934, right after prohibition. It was in 1946 that the liquor license held by Harriet W. Jennings for 4630 was transferred to 4608. [Mike died in 1951.] A new building was built in 1955 and opened in 1956. Starting in December 1973, the back room of the liquor store was remodeled into Timothy O’Toole’s Pub. In 1988 the liquor store moved to 4600 Excelsior and Gipper’s All-American Sports Bar and Grill was opened in its place. Gipper’s and O’Toole’s operated successfully until the Park Commons project forced the building to be demolished.
JENNINGS LIQUORS II
The property at 4600 Excelsior had been the site of Holt’s Nursery. The nursery building was demolished in about 1973. The new building housed a number of pizza restaurants until about 1986. The building was converted to the Jennings Liquor Store in 1987, and was demolished for the Park Commons project in 2001. Jennings Liquors then moved across the street to 4631/37/49 Excelsior Blvd.
JENNINGS LIQUORS III
In 2001 the liquor store moved across the street to 4631/37/49 Excelsior Blvd. It was first the site of Robert’s Johnson’s soda fountain, dating back to about 1922. The original building was demolished in about 1964. The extant building dates to 1966. In 2001 the property was bought by Mike Jennings, who moved Jennings Liquors in from across the street where the Park Commons project was being built.
Also see Liquor in the Park