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‘Bar Rescue’ to Unveil the Revamped Jack’s Ale House


August 29, By Christian Murray

The unveiling of the new Jack’s Ale House—or, perhaps, a renamed version of the bar—takes place at 9pm tonight and the public is invited to come.

Workers have been feverishly redoing the interior and exterior of the 39-46 Skillman Avenue establishment since Wednesday and the bar already has undergone a great deal of change.

The Spike TV show “Bar Rescue,” a reality-TV show that helps bar owners bring back their bar from the brink, has been shooting at the establishment all week and the revamp will be complete tonight.

Brian McGowan, one of three brothers who own the establishment, said the whole experience has been an emotional roller coaster.

“It’s been amazing,” he said. “It’s brought our family back together again. Many family issues have been resolved as a result of the show—from how we run the bar to past money issues.”

Brian and his brothers Jimmy and John are all New York City firefighters—although John has now retired. Brian received an award last year for saving 3 children from a burning building in the Bronx.

The show stars bar-expert Jon Taffer, who is known to be mercilessly tough—tackling everything from the perfect pour to the height of the bar stools.

Brian said that the Taffer is no different in person as to what you see on the show. On Monday, “He ripped us all a new A-hole and then walked out of the bar,” he said. However, he added, Taffer has a “heart of gold.”

Jack’s Ale House was selected to go on the show after Jimmy’s wife Christine sent an e-mail to the producers last year. From there, the McGowans’ bar was selected from about 500 establishments after a series of interviews that started in January.

Brian, who has no idea how the bar will look tonight, said this morning that he was “nervous and excited.”

He said that people interested in coming to the bar tonight should come early. He said the bar has a capacity for about 200 people and that when it opened on Wednesday while filming the “stress test” 400 people showed up, with many people not getting in.

The show featuring Jack’s Ale House is likely to air in November.


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Click for Comments 

its still the firewater inn…only a new name…you can dress it up but still run by the same family

Skillman Ave Resident

The location is a big problem. I don’t believe that there is a hope for becoming a destination place for people from outside Sunnyside. They will be much better off to cater for people who live here and once things settle back, they will be back to local clientele and any newcomer will feel again like an outsider intruding on private party. The neighborhood changed in the past 40 years. The should take a clue from “The DOG and DUCK” what works in this neighborhood and how to stay afloat.


Went by about an hour ago and the workers were putting finishing touches on the new entrance and signage. Looks great! I won’t spoil it, but will look forward to the broadcast. No way I’d be interested in pushing through a double-capacity crowd.

Zero the Hero

I’ll wait until tomorrow to check it out so I don ‘t have to deal with all the tools trying to get their ugly mugs on television for a blink of an eye. Hope it turns out well for them…..


I was actually worried no one would show up to the stress test, lol

Good luck though. I always enjoy my time there.

El loco


Your comments are ignorant and stupid. Because someone goes into a bar doesn’t mean that they are a drunk.


Alcohol bringing family back together, only in Sunnyside.
I guess when money runs out family will dissolve again?


This was already a great little hang out in the neighborhood. Location is a bit
off the beaten track, but that is part of the charm. I hope the unveiling is a huge success! Exciting.

Celtic Bark

Sounds like fun but no way I’m waiting on a long line without even knowing for sure if I’m getting in. Is van Bramer on the VIP list?


Best of Luck tonight with the unveiling. Hope it’s all you are hoping it to be. The McGowans are a wonderful bunch and deserve the best.


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