Jim Mellody moved from his native Pennsylvania to Florida in 1971, and tried numerous restaurant ideas before hitting on the concept of a family friendly (no hard liquor) Irish pub theme. Founded in 1985, by August 2000 it had grown to 40 locations. When founder Mellody died in November 2002, the chain had grown to 88 locations within seven southeastern U.S. states, and by December 2005 it had 183 locations in 19 states.
In 1998, Mellody sold most of his interest to Family Sports Concepts Inc., headed by Chuck Winship, but retained an interest in 13 locations. After Mellody's death, the remaining interest was bought out. As of 2009, Mellody's daughter still ran the original Brandon location.
As of January 2011, the Beef 'O' Brady's franchise has 215 locations in many different states, which are mostly located in the Gulf/Southern Coast of the United States.
Beef 'O' Brady's became the sponsor of the former St. Petersburg Bowl, held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2009; the game was subsequently renamed the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl for four playings (2010–2013). The game then reverted to its original name, and as of 2017 it is now known as the Gasparilla Bowl.
- "Restaurant Owner Founded Beef 'O' Brady's". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 26, 2002. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
- Andrew Meadows (August 12, 2000). "Beef 'O' Brady's 'Bama bound". The Tampa Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
- "Jim Mellody, founder of the Beef 'O' Brady's family sports pub chain". Nation's Restaurant News. November 26, 2002. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
- Michael Sandler (November 25, 2002). "Jim Mellody, who founded Beef 'O' Brady's". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
- Carolyne Park (December 16, 2005). "Beef 'O' Brady's market push". Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
- Margaret Cashill (January 29, 2009). "Owner operators advance 'family' philosophy". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
- "Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl". Retrieved December 9, 2013.
- "'O' No! Beef 'O' Brady's to drop sponsorship of local bowl game". Retrieved June 18, 2014.
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