Escape to the Occoquan – Madigan’s Waterfront

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By Katherine Gotthardt

It’s an escape from the usual, a dive into waterfront ambiance, a delicious experience and a whole lot of fun. It’s Madigan’s Waterfront, located at 201 Mill Street Occoquan, Virginia.

Since 2005, this family-owned business has served up seafood specialties and more, offering waterfront dining, a large deck, tiki bar, upstairs reception venue, daily happy hour, live music, dueling pianos, karaoke, public boat docking and dock rentals.

Cathy Madigan is co-owner, manager and event planner for Madigan’s, handling everything behind the scenes to make the restaurant work. She says she and her husband opened Madigan’s Grill in Lake Ridge in 1997 and ran that until 2008. Madigan’s Waterfront opened in 2005 and has been open ever since.

“We have been residents in Prince William County since 1993,” she says. “It was Chris’s dream to own a waterfront restaurant. He loves the water and enjoys being around it daily.”

She is proud to say Madigan’s is a family-owned restaurant that she and her husband Chris run together and that their daughter Bailey Brown is the in-house baker. Their son, Patrick, can be found behind the bar. “And we’ve been fortunate to have many other family members work with us throughout the years,” says

Mouth-Watering Menus

The menu at Madigan’s includes fresh seafood daily. Steaks are choice cut and individually selected for tenderness and flavor.

Oysters are available year-round. Madigan says, “We have changed our menu from a more old-fashioned cuisine to a more modern and adventurous theme. We have also condensed our menu to meet the palate of our guests.”

When it comes to customer favorites, Madigan says, “Our crab cakes are definitely the most popular. Our guests love the lump crab meat and blend of spices. Our Seafood Boil and OMG (Ocean Mixed Grill) are also favorites. However, our 1/2-pound Mad Burger and Wings are among our bar patrons’ favorites.”

More detailed menus can be found on their website,

Ambiance and Fun

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Madigan’s offers an evening of entertainment with “dueling pianos.” (Photo provided by Bailey Brown)

Locals and visitors seeking ambiance can find it at Madigan’s. “Our waterfront deck and tiki bar are a nautical oasis,” Madigan says. “We offer a family-friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Our inside dining and upstairs venue offer a more elegant vibe.”

It is a great place for patrons to “wind down after a long day before they go home,” says Madigan. “We have happy hour 3 to 7 p.m. daily. Our beautiful waterfront views provide a change of scenery in Prince William County.”

Madigan says the restaurant also offers “a fabulous brunch menu” Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you are looking for entertainment and bands, then Madigan’s Waterfront is where you want to be. Customers have called it a “great local hangout” in multiple reviews.

“We pride ourselves for having something for everyone,” says Madigan. “We have live music at our tiki bar on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. At our inside bar, we have karaoke on Thursday, live music or a DJ on Friday and dueling pianos on Saturday. We also have a beautiful upstairs reception venue. It can accommodate up to 120 guests for a reception or 75 guests with social distancing.”

Madigan’s Waterfront offers the facilities, accommodations and staff with 20 years of experience and knowledge to provide everything required to make an event special, Madigan says. From preparation to service, Madigan’s can help ensure a significant day is celebrated in style and with ease.

Beyond business, Madigan is proud to give back to the community. “Madigan’s was able to raise money to donate meals to the First Responders at Sentara Hospital and local fire stations,” she says. “We also support the local schools and sports teams.” Madigan, who has served on the county’s tourism advisory board for the past two years, says it has been a pleasure.

Madigan’s Waterfront is open in accordance with state and federal COVID-19 guidelines that protect customers and staff. Curbside pickup and delivery is continuing, but Madigan’s also offers full outside seated dining and 50% inside seated dining. The owners ask that patrons wear masks and social distance. For more information, contact Madigan’s at 703-494-6373.

Director of Content Marketing for Prince William Living, Katherine Gotthardt  ( is an award-winning writer, poet and author, as well as president of Write by the Rails, the Prince William chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Learn about her work at


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