How It’s New York:  Announcement of the new is a New York thing– one begins, one closes.  Now I can say and tell the truth that there’s a good session every night of the week in NY!

How It’s Irish:  Sunnyside is such an Irish area there’s an Irish supermarket, The Butcher Block (technically the pub is in Long Island City).  You can buy the Irish and English candybars at any bodega (in Manhattan, it’s more of a special trip, though I’m down with the London candy store).

The heat is not slowing down the activity level of the Irish in NY!   A new session is beginning at Murphy’s, on 49th- Skillman Avenue, in Sunnyside, Queens.  Saturday night is the inaugural night!  The session begins at 9, and will include Dan Neely (banjo– Dan runs the Lillie’s session on Saturdays), Danny McLouglin (uillean pipes), and former Cork Association man of the year Donie Carroll (guitar and vocals).  It’s to be called the “Fireside Session,” though fire is the last thing anybody wants to think of right now, I’m sure!

Beginning next week, the session will also be held on Fridays, which is great news– Friday was kind of an off night, session wise.  It’s at the same venue and begins at 7, and features Don Meade (who runs the Landmark session on Mondays) and Donie every week.  Donie says that he will use a small PA system on Fridays, and none on Saturdays, but that the sessions are open to everyone.

I haven’t been in yet, but I’m told that the bar, which was closed for a few months for a renovation, is all spic and span now, with soft chairs, new licks of paint and good liquor including microbrews.

here’s what the Sunnyside Post had to say about its reopening on July 10:

Murphy’s Bar, on Skillman, reopens after renovation

Mike Murphy at Murphy's Bar in Woodside

Mike Murphy of Murphy’s Bar

Murphy’s Bar, a Skillman Ave. fixture, reopened on Friday evening after a major renovation.
The bar had been closed for two months as its owner Mike Murphy transformed the Irish watering hole into a more professional and modern establishment.
The days of the pool table and darts in a dark bar are over. Murphy has remodeled the space by replacing part of an exterior wall with a large window, completely renovating the bar and replacing the wooden tables and stools.
Murphy said he plans to introduce craft beers, offer Paninis and hummus, as well as a wine list and cocktail menu. He said that there will be a formal grand opening at the bar (located at 48-20 Skillman Ave.) in about two weeks.
He said that he was inspired to do the renovation because the Sunnyside/Woodside area had changed. “In the last four years many young professional couples have moved here. The neighborhood has really come up and I decided I had to upgrade.”

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.