Sunnyside Post

Sunnyside NY news

Firewater Inn revamp to be complete by Feb. 2013, owners say

By Bill Parry

When the Firewater Inn, located at 39-46 Skillman Ave., closed for renovations in April 2011, the owners never imagined that it would remain shut for about two years.

The revamp got delayed several times as the owners, the three McGowan brothers, struggled to get the building permits they needed.

“We had a crummy architect who didn’t understand the new zoning laws,” said Jimmy McGowan, who was raised in Sunnyside with his brothers.

When the bar reopens, the McGowans will rename it Jack’s Sunnyside Ale House in honor of their late father, who opened the Firewater in 1987. They’ll add a beer garden, a kitchen, and eventually a raw bar for the weekends.

“The whole neighborhood is changing,” Jimmy said. “We figured we had to change with the times and the culture.”

When their late father retired nine years ago, he turned the family business over to his sons, all firefighters. The bar became a self-described frat house, with a young and rowdy crowd. “No more cranking the music and no more pool table,” Jimmy said.

During their two year wait, John retired from the FDNY, while Brian and Jimmy have remained on active duty and expanded their families. “We each had a kid last year,” said Jimmy, “I had my third and Brian had his first.”

Brian, the youngest of the three, was named the Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club Man of the Year this summer after rescuing three young children from a fire in the Bronx.

“We’ve kept busy the last couple of years,” said Brian. “It’ll be good to get this place open again.”

They’re hoping to get the bar ready in time for the Super Bowl. However, Jimmy warns, “Unless the Mayan Apocalypse screws everything up.”

McGowan brothers at the Firewater Inn

Print Friendly

57 Responses »

  1. Hey “Water” why dont you use your name?

  2. Halloween costume censorship! That’s classic! What an effing joke! Most of us who grew up here in Sunnyside are not quite that politically correct. It’s Halloween and it was a costume. I don’t think any bar owner wants to be bullied into having their hand forced to tell their patrons what they can or cannot where to a Halloween party! Geez. What’s next?!?!

  3. With the mentality and intolerance of those that post here……you ask! “Whats next?” if some people on this site had their way. ?……complete intolerance

  4. Those of us who grew up in the neighborhood (I was born in ’65, lived there till about ’87) will tell you that it was always a pretty diverse neighborhood. We went to school locally – whether Q of A, or 150 – and we had a good mix of people there. And a person’s ethnicity /race was never an issue.
    Hats off to the McGowan boys.

  5. Im a latin american and i was always in firewater. no better place to get a reasonable drink watch sports and bullsh*t w/ your neighbors. always played pool there always had dart tournaments and always had softball teams. lets get this bar up and running so i can spend more fri an sat nights there like old times

  6. New bar looks amazing. Tons of tap beer, microbrews, the usual bottled and some nice wines. Can’t wait for the kitchen to open. Brews and wings aaah….. New owner John McGowan runs another bar too, if that is any hint, I think Sunnyside just got another great bar.
    Change the sign, it looks old for such a new bar.

Leave a Response