Make your own luck; At Owego’s Parkview, everyone is Irish

Make your own luck; At Owego’s Parkview, everyone is IrishBeth Johnson, owner of Owego’s Parkview Hotel and Restaurant, is pictured next to a Pot of Gold displayed at the back entrance of the restaurant portion of the Front Street hotel. (Photo by Wendy Post)

By Wendy Post — 

German, Polish, French, it doesn’t matter, everyone is Irish when they step foot into Owego’s Parkview Hotel and Restaurant; at least if Hugh Dugan has a say in it.

One of Owego’s most iconic buildings, one that greets guests with its saloon style feel as they cross the Court Street Bridge, is celebrating their biggest day of the year this weekend, St. Patrick’s Day.

Built in 1867, the hotel has its own history to be told. Originally called “Owego’s Exchange Hotel”, an Irish immigrant that came to America in 1848 left a mark on the hotel and his ghost, as some have recorded, remains in the building today.

But we won’t talk about Hugh Dugan, whose head protrudes from the brick and mortar inside, a hand placed a bit lower, holding a cigar. Always overlooking the bar area of the restaurant, most don’t notice Dugan outside of an occasional phenomena; but he is there.

Make your own luck; At Owego’s Parkview, everyone is Irish

Resting on the bricks inside the Parkview’s Dugan House is Hugh Dugan himself, cigar in hand. (Photo by Wendy Post)

The hotel eventually became known as the Dugan House, and then throughout the years went through various owners to include the McTamney’s, who operated the establishment for close to 40 years, and now Beth Johnson, who has transformed the building back into a hotel, equipped with an elevator and all of the luxurious amenities that one can afford.

Every year, when St. Patrick’s Day approaches, Johnson gets to work, ordering her corned beef and cabbage in preparation for the busiest day of the year at the Parkview Hotel. According to Johnson, 500 pounds of corned beef is normally ordered for the big day.

“The hotel’s roots are about as Irish as it can get,” said Johnson on Tuesday, and as she moved from room to room in the hotel and restaurant, getting things ready for the big day. She took time to chat, however, about her building, and its history.

Somewhere in the walls, and embedded behind the brick, Johnson has placed time capsules that she hopes will be discovered some day, its contents include copies of local papers, to include The Owego Pennysaver, photos and, of course, menus.

The haunted tales from the hotel are also documented, from time to time, by paranormal groups, and by those looking for a haunting experience.

But don’t be afraid! Could it possibly be gentle reminders from those that once lived and worked there that its history must be preserved? Or could it be the ghost of some that found their Pot o Gold at the Parkview, like Floyd (Vic) Hooker.

Make your own luck; At Owego’s Parkview, everyone is Irish

Everything Irish at Owego’s Parkview on St. Patrick’s Day, and the months, weeks and days leading up to the main celebration. (Photo by Wendy Post)

There’s an old Irish blessing that reads, “May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night.”

On St. Patrick’s Day in 1999, Floyd “Vic” Hooker certainly had the luck of the Irish on his side. It was on that St. Patrick’s Day that the lifelong Tioga County, New York resident won $45 million in the New York State Lottery, recorded at the time as one of the largest winnings in state history.

Following his untimely death, a portion of the award was set up in a fund that would benefit Tioga County youth, the Floyd Hooker Foundation. Vic’s legacy was able to live on, with his story embedded into the history of the Parkview Hotel and Restaurant.

And with a bit of luck from the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day remains at the heart of the establishment. A countdown begins the day after, noting the days in a small kiosk above the bar that rests as a gathering place for the community.

If you visit, prepare to be Irish for a day, and maybe you’ll find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, too!

To learn more about Owego’s Parkview Hotel and Restaurant, visit

Make your own luck; At Owego’s Parkview, everyone is Irish

The sign from O’Hara’s Restaurant was offered to Johnson to display in her window. Thomas O’Hara passed away on Nov. 2, 2022 at the age of 84. “Tom” was the owner of O’Hara’s Restaurant, also known in Owego as an Irish establishment. (Photo by Wendy Post)



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