McQuillan Brothers Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning is back (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

McQuillan Brothers Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning is back after nearly four years away.

Call it a comeback: Minnesota plumbing company back with new owners

In a time when we hear so much about the negative impacts of the economic downturn, it’s always great to hear a story with a positive ending.

On, Tad Vezner wrote about McQuillan Brothers Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, a business that has been around since 1883 but had to shudder its doors in 2011 due to poor timing of an expansion right before bad economic times. Now, the business is back with brothers Matt and John McQuillan as owners.

They were the first union shop west of Chicago, says Chad Birk, an apprenticeship coordinator at Minneapolis St. Cloud Pipefitters Local Union 539 who teaches the union's heritage class.

"I've seen that first permit they pulled, back in 1884," Birk says. "It was a little bit disheartening to hear that the first union shop had to close (in 2011), but it didn't surprise me. A lot of contractors were having struggles."

Now, fifth-generationers Matt, plumber, and John, fitter, will be working under their fourth-generation father, John Joseph McQuillan, brother of the former owner.

"There's no clean way to do this one," the younger John McQuillan says after draining slick, black residue from the steam boiler of a century-old Mahtomedi home.

Read the rest of this great story up on Have any fantastic plumbing news of your own? Let us know on Contractor Magazine’s Facebook page.

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