Portland, ME is home to one of the most haunted eateries in the state, Bull Feeney's. Come Explore its offerings with Haunted Journeys.
Bull Feeney's Restaurant and Irish pub was officially opened on St. Patrick's Day 2002. The building itself was constructed in 1866-1867 after the Great Fire of July 4, 1866 destroyed Fore Street and a great section of the city. It was designed and erected by Charles Quincy Clapp, a “gentleman architect,” in Gothic style. The #375 on the block contained tailor shops of G. Edwin Dyer, Alpheus Griffin, Rueben K. Dyer, and Edward J. Huelin from the late 1870s until 1941.
About 1943, 375 Fore Street became the Seamen’s Club to attend to the needs of the thousands of sailors in town during World War II. By the late 1940s, it was officially known as the Portland Seamen’s Club and Portland Seamen’s Friend Society. It remained the Seamen’s Club until the early 1960s when it became vacant and remained so for many years. From about 1975 until the early 1990s, it was a restaurant called, aptly, the Seamen’s Club.
Jerry Hand, an Irish native, and Douglas Fuss purchased the property and opened a new restaurant and pub, “Bull Feeney’s.” They had seen the business value of opening a restaurant at that location and of tying it in with the history of Irish emigration into Portland. They consulted many interested parties to gather authentic detail about the Portland Irish, including Matthew J. Barker, whose research and writing adorns the interior of the restaurant, actually painted on the walls by an artist from Ireland.
It was named after John A. Feeney's (an Irish Immigrant) son. John A. Feeney was born in Ireland in 1854. John had moved to Portland, Maine by 1878 and opened a grocery store that was a front for a saloon. John opened four other saloons that became gathering places for new immigrants. John would help them get settled, find jobs, and register them as citizens and voters. John's son, John M. Feeney, was a fullback and defensive tackle on the state championship football team. He earned the nickname "Bull" because he would lower his leather helmet like a bull and charge through the line. John moved to Hollywood, changed his name to John Ford, and directed many of the greatest films in history, including The Quiet Man, The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath, How the West Was Won, and Mister Roberts to name a few.
Bull Feeney's Irish Pub is popular among the locals as well.
Patrons and servers alike claim the restaurant is haunted by a woman dressed in period clothing in the bar and upstairs tea rooms. She likes walking up and down its the staircase, navigating people in her direction. She is also frequently spotted in the upstairs tea room. She’s never disturbed the guests or is spooky at any time. In fact, many patrons felt she was hired as an entertainer in the tavern due to her friendliness. The only thing was that the pub never hired such a woman.
There are a couple of bathrooms at the pub that used to be a room with leather chairs and sofas called The Whiskey Room. When the room was being renovated, there was an old piano in there that people heard playing by itself.
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