St. Patrick’s Day got an early start at the grand opening of Gerry’s Place on Wednesday, March 15. Green lights hung from the ceiling at 1164 Third Avenue between 93rd and 94th streets while guitarist Kevin McCormack played John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads to a packed house singing along and dancing. The site was previously home to another Irish watering hole, O’Flanagan’s, which closed down on March 6.
So, how was this quick transition from O’Flanagan’s to Gerry’s possible? Call it a little luck of the Irish. ESF spoke with Gerry Fox, owner of the eponymous bar, and learned he acquired the space from Gerry McGwyne (a former O’Flanagan’s owner). The two Gerry’s opened a Gerry’s Place in Norwood, New Jersey in 2017.
Fox told us McGwyne was looking to get out of the business but didn’t want to see the location lost, so Fox took it over. McGwyne was also in the house for the grand opening, enjoying the evening’s festivities.
One noticeable change is that the pool table was removed from the back of the room. While a staple at O’Flanagan’s, Fox noted that taking it out would make the location “less divey.” The hanging lights are also brand new, and the menu has been redone (though you’ll still see Irish classics like fish & chips, chicken curry and shepherd’s pie available).
Fox also tells us he’s working on adjusting the sound system over the next few weeks as he plans to bring in more live music on the weekends.
An Irish hall of fame now graces the front wall of the room. Rugby players including Brian O’Driscoll and Jonathan Glenn join track star Sonia O’Sullivan, who won a gold medal in the 5,000 meters at the 1995 World Championships, amongst others.
Sports played on mute over the many televisions still spread around the space. The play-in round of March Madness was playing alongside the World Baseball Classic which saw team USA defeat Columbia 3-2 in a nail-biter to advance to the quarterfinal round against Venezuela this Saturday, March 18 at 7 p.m.
The dollar-a-play jukebox also survived the evolution, along with the super out-of-the-way dining booth in the far back left of the room on the ground floor. It’s a great option if you’re looking for some separation from the action. Fox added that he’s still figuring out the layout for the upstairs. Currently, there’s seating for roughly 65.
From live music to jukebox jamming and sports celebrating, it was a glorious night one for Gerry’s Place. The overall volume of the music lends itself to good chilling where you can manage a conversation and watch something on the tube without feeling like you have to yell or lose your track of thought to overwhelming audible garble.