Owner of Jimmy's Sports Bar dies while visiting family in New York
Jimmy Prenty, the genial proprietor of the SW Multnomah Boulevard sports bar that carries his name, passed away on Christmas Eve while visiting family in Mamaroneck, New York. He died while taking an afternoon nap. Prenty was 61.
He took over the sports bar at 3017 SW Multnomah Blvd. in September of 2001 after stopping by for a beer one day and hearing from the owner at the time that he was discouraged and ready to sell. Prenty bought it and within months had turned the business around.
Jimmy's Sports Bar soon attracted a loyal clientele from the neighborhood, which helped Prenty survive years of dips in his business caused by seemingly endless public works projects along Multnomah Boulevard.
He told the SW Portland Post in December, 2014 that he and his employees "had suffered financially, emotionally and physically due to the road work on Multnomah Boulevard that's been going on for years".
Business disruptions began when Portland Environmental Services (as it was then known) had to replace a smelly sewer line (origin of the term "Multnomah Aroma")
between I5 and SW 40th.
Prenty told the SW Post, "When they first dug up the road, the city put in the wrong size sewer pipe. They excavated the street again later to replace it with the right size."
During that time, lane closures on Multnomah Boulevard made access to the parking lot at Jimmy's difficult and business suffered. But he survived.
After the sewer project ,PBOT started the project to replace sidewalks and build bike lanes and swales along the same stretch of Multnomah Boulevard. An early result of that project was an unusual alignment for parking in front of Jimmy's. PBOT had to come out and paint P on the road to indicate where people should park.
For thousands of commuters along Multnomah Boulevard, Jimmy's Sports Bar was known for it's marquee, which displayed birthdays and anniversaries of the "regulars" but also took an occasional poke at Portland City Hall. His most memorable message on the marquee was "ROAD WORK NEXT 40 YEARS".
Prenty graduated from Oregon State University in 1979 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. He was born and raised in The Bronx, attending the well-regarded Cardinal Hayes High School. Both his parents were born in the West of Ireland and emigrated to America after World War Two. He is survived by three sisters - Patricia,Noreen and Maura - and a brother, retired New York firefighter John Prenty.
A celebration of Jimmy Prenty's life will be held at Jimmy's Sports Bar on January 19, 2018 at 3PM. www.facebook.com/jimmys.sportsbar