Now Located in Gaithersburg, the O’Donnell’s Legacy Continues with Another Generation of Seafood Lovers
Known as the DC area’s premier seafood restaurant, O’Donnell’s Sea Grill celebrates its 90th Anniversary this year. Originally opened in the summer of 1922 in Washington, DC, the O’Donnell’s Sea Grill of the Kentlands Community in Gaithersburg is still known for its world-renowned Norfolk-style seafood dishes and its homemade Rum Buns.
“We are proud to have served the DC area for ninety years and look forward to another ninety!” says Bill Edelblut, grandson of founder Tom O’Donnell and president of O’Donnell’s Sea Grill.
The O’Donnell’s story began when Tom O’Donnell opened his first restaurant, the “Sea Grill”, in downtown Washington, D.C. at 1207 E Street, N.W. in 1922.
Undaunted by the Great Depression that gripped Washington in the 1930’s, Tom O’Donnell’s business boomed. He leased the Victor Wholesalers building at 1221 E Street and after a complete renovation; it opened in 1941 as his second location. Daughter Janice O’Donnell Edelblut joined the business in 1945.
Whether it was the luck of the Irish or keen perception of the future, the O’Donnell’s purchased the Edgemoor Motor Building on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, Maryland as the site of their new suburban location. After extensive renovation, the restaurant opened its doors to great success in 1956. Four years later, the original downtown location at 1207 E Street was closed.
As the popularity of the Bethesda location continued to grow, the building was renovated, refurbished and expanded several times over the years yet remained in the family with grandson Bill Edelblut at the helm. O’Donnell’s second downtown location at 1221 E Street was closed in 1980.
In the summer of 1997, O’Donnell’s opened its Gaithersburg location to rave reviews. With the great success of this new location, the family decided to say goodbye to its Bethesda location in the fall of 2001.
Today, O’Donnell’s Restaurant is proud to continue to be Montgomery County’s premier choice for quality seafood. Still owned by the O’Donnell family, the restaurant continues to offer the freshest seafood, the original Norfolk style of cooking, its famous Rum Buns and the service and hospitality patrons have enjoyed for over ninety years. O’Donnell’s will commemorate its 90th anniversary with the creation of a new website and a presence on Facebook, Foursquare and other social media. “We’re not standing still and want to communicate with our customers in new ways to let them know what’s going on at O’Donnell’s,” quoted Ashlee Edelblut, Bill Edelblut’ s daughter and next generation in the O’Donnell’s legacy.
Offering both indoor and outdoor seating for 325 guests, O’Donnell’s Sea Grill is also a popular gathering place for cocktails with friends and private dining for special occasions. Featuring outstanding service, a casually elegant atmosphere, and live entertainment on Friday nights, O’Donnell’s Sea Grill is one of the Washington areas most respected and enjoyed restaurants.
Originally founded in 1922 by Tom O’Donnell, O’Donnell’s Sea Grill (www.odonnellsrestaurants.com) has proudly served premier seafood to Washington area patrons for over ninety years. O’Donnell’s Sea Grill offers a private room that seats 25-30, a banquet room that holds 65-80, and a full service bar that holds 100+ people. Known for its world-renowned Norfolk-style shellfish and its homemade Rum Buns, O’Donnell’s Sea Grill features outstanding service, a casually elegant atmosphere, and live entertainment on Friday nights.
O’Donnell’s Sea Grill
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