Shanahan Grad, Restaurateur Who Helped Put West Chester on the Dining Map Dies at 72

John Paul McFadden

John Paul McFadden, a noted restaurateur who helped put West Chester on the dining map with his passion for modern eateries in historic settings, has died at the age of 72, writes Bonnie Cook for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

McFadden was known for completely stripping old buildings and then turning them into eye-catching restaurants with outdoor seating, inspired by European sidewalk cafes.

The West Chester native and Bishop Shanahan graduate partnered with George Mershon, owner of the historic Marshalton Inn, on his first project. They turned the Inn’s stable into a second restaurant – today known as the Four Dogs Tavern – with an outdoor patio that became an instant hit.

McFadden then took on more similar projects, including transforming a former shoe store on Gay Street into what is now Kildare’s and converting an old dairy barn into The Gables at Chadds Ford.

“Jack was one of a kind: a true, old-school restaurateur with a lot of forward-thinking ideas,” said Inquirer food writer Mike Klein.

Read more about John Paul McFadden in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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