It may have closed in 2019, but the beloved Shamrock Restaurant in Thurmont continued to bring smiles for its loyal customers over the weekend.
“We had the idea some time back,” said Dawn Fitzgerald Knox, who owned the eatery, which closed after almost 57 years in business, with her sister Donna Fitzgerald Demmon.
The sisters put it off because of COVID-19, but Dawn’s daughter, who lives out of state, offered to come help organize the items, and the sale finally came to fruition. While initially planned for just two days — Friday and Saturday — the sale was extended into Sunday, and the offerings drew patrons from hours away to get items like bar signs, beer glasses, statues, posters and seasonal décor.
Knox said it was exciting to have people they knew come and scoop up items to help commemorate the restaurant. The event served not only as a way for people to secure memories, but also as a way to clear out the restaurant itself, something the owners said was bittersweet.
“We have the best customers in the world,” Knox said. “We’ve really got close to so many people, whether they came frequently or they came occasionally. Just had the friendliest, nicest customer base I think anybody could ever ask for, so we know we’re going to miss seeing them.”
Knox also made special mention of the restaurant’s employees, whom she said were like family, and their brother David, who was a huge help for the past decade or more.
Aimee Boumiea attended the sale with her mother, Debbie Kidd, on Saturday. The women came from Westminster and said the Shamrock was one of their favorite restaurants for more than 30 years.
Kidd walked away with multiple goodies, including the large sign that hung over the restaurant’s bar entrance.
“We had told them we wanted the sign last year before they closed,” Kidd said, adding that Knox called and informed her of the sale.
Demmon told them she had the sign and asked if they were still interested. Of course they were.
“We had some very good times at Shamrock and just wanted to remember it somehow,” Kidd said. “[The memorabilia] brings back some wonderful memories that we had.”
The restaurant holds multi-generational family memories for Kidd and Boumiea. Kidd recalled her late husband enjoying soup and prime rib there. She took her daughter when she was as young as 4 and dined there with her grandchildren, too.
“It was nice to see Donna and Dawn again and talk to them and then kind of look at all the items that they had for sale ... kind of thinking about what we might want to bring back to remember,” Kidd said.