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Dunnigan fulfills dream, opens Ollie’s Pub in South Cape

January 3, 2020
By KATIE EGAN ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Sean Dunnigan has always dreamed of opening a bar in Cape Coral.

In October, his dream became a reality when he opened Ollie's Pub along the downtown stretch, near Perk & Brew.

"This is home. So, this is where I decided to do something I've always dreamed of doing," Dunnigan said. "This is the area where I wanted to do it because I grew up here."

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He's lived in the Cape off and on since 1983. Mostly on, though.

Ollie's Pub has live music on Fridays and Saturdays. There are also two open mic nights. One is a comedy night and the other is more open format.

Ollie's Pub is located at 1019 Cape Coral Parkway, East. It sells beer, wine and cider. But the vinyl shop in the back of the bar is what makes it unique.

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As far as live music goes, Dunnigan said it's pretty much a full spectrum, from rock shows to indie, alternative, metal, punk and hip-hop shows.

The bands are mostly local, although some come in from other parts of the state.

"I definitely wanted to keep it local," Dunnigan said. "One of my big goals is to support the local music scene and arts in general."

Dunnigan worked in management at Costco Wholesale for 20 years. That taught him a lot about retail and how to run a business.

"Working for them afforded me the possibility to put this together," he said. " I planned and saved for 20 years until it was the right time to do it."

When asked when the 48-year-old knew it was the right time, he said he just had a gut feeling.

The pub is named after his dog Ollie, who passed away over the summer while Dunnigan was putting the bar together.

"At the time, we had been struggling, so we decided to honor him."

Everyone was on board with Dunnigan's dream right away, especially his wife.

"This is kind of my brain child, but she's always been super supportive of it," he said. "When I presented her with the whole idea, she was 100 % supportive and was ready to go and do whatever needed to be done."

Dunnigan isn't a huge collector, but records have always fascinated him. He sells new and used records and he has about 2,500 titles at Ollie's Pub.

For new records, he has a distributer. For used ones, the bulk of what he has is from buying collections over the summer.

"I love the difference in sound between vinyl and listening to anything digital," Dunnigan said. "To me, it is more noticeable and a more enjoyable experience."

Dunnigan runs the bar and the record store simultaneously during the week. On the weekends, when it's busier, he has bartenders. His friends, older daughter and wife all help out, too.

As far as his goals for the bar go, Dunnigan said this time next year he'd like to have more staff on hand and be busier in general.

"Obviously, we are brand new. We still have some growing to do," he said. "I'd like to see us having things going on all week long."

So far, Dunnigan said he's had a great reaction from the community.

All signs seem to be pointing to a win.



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