The Irish Pub celebrated its 50th year serving the Baldwin community last week and was honored by officials and residents alike. Purchased from its original owner, Dennis Daly, in April of 1978 by Jimmy Kearney and Brian Hanrahan — brothers by marriage from Queens — The Irish Pub has long been a bastion of good cheer and community spirit in Baldwin.
When Kearney and Hanrahan purchased the pub, they knew little of the bar business. But they studied alongside the pub’s existing bartenders — including Jimmy “Buckets,” who began working at the Pub in 1974, and can still be found behind the bar — and soon got the hang of things. Over the years the pub has become a fixture in Baldwin, sponsoring softball and darts teams, bringing live music and dancing to the area, and serving numerous celebrities including Taylor Dayne, Abe Vigoda, Joe Franklin and members of the bands The Cars and The Allman Brothers.
The Irish Pub was originally located on Sunrise Highway, (it was called the Station Pub for part of that time) but on a fateful day in May of 2007, a certified letter arrived from the landlord saying the property was sold and granting the owners only 30 days to vacate. Undaunted, the denizens of The Irish Pub held a memorable farewell weekend, then closed their doors. Less than a year later, they reopened at the current location, 834 Merrick Road.
Resiliency has always been a hallmark of The Irish Pub. When hurricane Sandy hit last year, the owners immediately cooked all the food they had in storage and donated it to local firehouses.
The Irish Pub celebrated hitting the half-century mark last week with drink specials and visits by area officials. The Baldwin Civic Association recognized The Irish Pub as a Historic Baldwin Business and presented a certificate commemorating the honor last Saturday.