Successful Restauranteur, Proud Irishman and Seattle University Alumnus

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 9:38 PM PST

Mick McHugh,’65, is an active Seattle U alumnus, proud member of Seattle’s Irish community and a successful restaurant owner. Mick got his start in the restaurant scene in 1963 as a sophomore at Seattle U when he opened up the coffee house, 92 Yesler, which catered to his fellow Seattle University students serving coffee and pizza. While Mick only operated the coffee house for three-years it was the beginning of a successful career. Mick would go on to open a total of 16 restaurants over the years, which includes FX McRory’s built in 1977 and where he now spends much of his time and  the Irish Pub, T.S. McHugh’s, which he built in honor of his father 80th birthday.

As a proud member of the Seattle’s Irish community, Mick was instrumental in establishing the tradition of Irish Week in Seattle to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. “I wanted to get away from the idea of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with green beer. The Irish have so much to offer,” Mick said.

Seattle’s Irish Week is still going strong forty years later with a range of activities to peak everyone’s interests including an always popular 5k run, a parade, an Irish Heritage Festival and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass for Peace in Ireland at St. Patrick’s Church. A full list of St. Patrick’s Day events can be found online here.

Mick’s Irish legacy extends to more than just St. Patrick’s Day festivities; he served on the search committee for Seattle’s sister city. “We needed a university town and a port city. We visited four different cities in Ireland until we chose Galway on the west coast of Ireland,” Mick said.

To commemorate the relationship of sister cities, each city has a stone monument that points directly at the other indicating a line through the center of the earth connecting the two cities and each displaying the latitude and longitude of its sister city. The stone in Galway says “Seattle” and is at the end of Shop Street, while Seattle’s stone says “Galway” and is located on the waterfront near Pier 66.

Each year a contingency from Seattle visits Galway and a group from Galway, including the mayor, Donal Lyons, visit Seattle for Irish Week. 

“My daughter, Caitlin,’06, and I had the opportunity to accompany Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to Galway this past fall for the annual Oyster festival,” Mick shared.

Mick’s passion for the Irish community is obvious and so too is his passion for Seattle University. 

Mick was the first of six siblings to attend Seattle University. “My three sisters all studied education at Seattle U and my brothers and I all studied business.”

As a student, Mick was on the tennis team, served as student body president and helped persuade Archbishop Connolly to sell the plot of land that would become the Connolly Center. 

“The depth of the education at Seattle University broadened me as a person and for that I’m very grateful.”

Inspired by the values of his Jesuit education, Mick co-founded the Matt Tablot Center, which helps Seattle’s homeless population overcome their drug addictions and is now in its 28th year.

Five years after Mick’s graduation from Seattle University he was approached by the current President and head of the Alumni Association and asked if he would like to serve as the interim director of Alumni Relations, holding that position until 1975.

“I’ve been able to stay close to Seattle University for 50 years and I’ve been blessed by that,” he said.

Stay close to the university Mick has. He served on the Seattle University Board of Regents for over twenty years, served as an Albers mentor, was one of the one-hundred alumni featured during the university’s centennial and was awarded the Alumnus of the Year award in 1987 and now he serves on the class of 1965 Reunion Committee. 

“I am very proud to be an alum and invite my classmates back to the Emerald City for our 50th reunion! We had so much fun during our time at Seattle U and I can hardly believe it’s been 50 years! My classmates won’t believe how much the university has grown since we left. It is now a nationally recognized university of high distinction.

The city of Seattle has also grown. There’s more in Seattle’s aviary than Seahawks and Redhawks. Seattle is flying high as one of America’s great cities. They’ll find Seattle’s beauty much enhanced and see how Capitol Hill has been built up as a hip urban hot spot. You won’t be sorry when you attend the reunion – we’ll have so much fun!!” Mick said.

If you are a member of the class of 1965, you can learn more and register for your reunion  here.

Class of 1965 Reunion
Saturday, May 2, 2015
11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Seattle University 

Register now.