July 12, 2012 By Christian Murray
The owners of six Skillman Ave. bars and restaurants met for just over an hour at the Claret Wine bar yesterday to put the finishing touches on plans for the Skillman Live Music Fest.
Tonight, the bars are sponsoring six bands to play at the Windmuller Park Band-shell at Doughboy Park (52nd and 39th Dr.) from 6 pm to 9 pm. The free live music event is being put on to raise money for Woodside on the Move and to increase the profile of the following pubs: Murphy’s Bar, The Copper Kettle, The Brogue, Claret, The Dog and Duck and Flynn’s Garden Inn.
The bar owners are hoping that people will attend the free concert in the park and then come back to their establishments after the event to hear the bands play on.
Each bar is sponsoring a band, which will play at Windmuller for 30 minutes and then perform at that pub after the event. Steve Reilly is being sponsored by Flynn’s; BenTK by the Brogue; Chris Campion by the Copper Kettle; Kevin Ford by the Dog and Duck; Dang-it-Bobbys by Claret; and Sean Henshaw by Murphy’s.
The Skillman Avenue bars have been selling raffle tickets–as well as 50-50 tickets– in recent weeks to raise money for Woodside on the Move, said Hazel Coombes, the owner of the Brogue. She said the winner of the 50-50 is likely to win around $1,000. The bars are raffling off items such as a bicycle, Mets tickets and a DVD player.
Adrian Bordoni, the executive director of Woodside on the Move, came up with the concept and approached Pat Tunney of The Copper Kettle with the idea earlier in the year. The bar owners were willing to support Woodside on the Move, which is a well-established, not-for-profit group that performs a range of functions—from children’s programs to senior services.
The six bar owners have worked together on two fund raising pub crawls in the past year– and they thought they would be even more adventurous this time.
“This is groundbreaking stuff for us,” Tunney said. “We’ll see how this goes. It’s a win/win for us and if it’s successful it may lead to bigger things down the road. We may include other businesses, the more the merrier.”
Paul Flynn, the owner of Flynn’s Garden Inn, agreed. “If we all work together it makes Skillman Ave. a more happening place.”
The event is already creating a buzz in the neighborhood.
“We’ll stop by the park and see what’s going on,” said Richard Norris, a nearby resident. His daughter Kristi was planning her friend’s birthday party around the event.
“We’ll have dinner at one of the restaurants and then take in the show,” said Mike Novak. “It’s one of those things that brings the community together.”
In the event of inclement weather, the acts will move to the Skillman venues.