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Popular Bar/Restaurant Set to Reopen Under New Name

Interior of revamped pub/restaurant (Photo: QueensPost)

Feb. 9, 2013 By Bill Parry

The Firewater Inn, a pub/restaurant located at 39-46 Skillman Ave., is scheduled to reopen March 1, after undergoing renovations for nearly two years.

The long delay was due in part to an architect who was unfamiliar with the new zoning laws. Once the zoning issues were straightened out, the project got back on track.

The McGowan brothers, John, Jimmy and Brian, who own the establishment, have renamed it Jack’s Sunnyside Ale House in honor of their father Jack, who founded the business and has since passed away.

“We had hoped to reopen in time for the Super Bowl,” said Jimmy McGowan, “but we didn’t want to cut any corners.”

Pre-Revamp (Photo: QueensPost)

The pub/restaurant will feature a new kitchen with a raw bar on weekends, as well as a new beer garden.

The pub has already hired 14 bartenders/waiters. They are “family or firefighters,” Jimmy said, adding that “four are from the [old] Firewater who are coming back.”

Jimmy and Brian are still active firefighters, while John has retired from the FDNY.

With the long wait nearly over, Jimmy said, “We’re getting very excited now — we can’t wait.”

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The Firewater Inn is no longer. This is Jack’s Ale House. The bar is owned by the three McGowan brothers now. New carma, new atmosphere, new everything. Haters there are more then enough gin joints in NYC, go someplace else. All others welcome and enjoy.


Hey Common Sense. 40th Street is zoned residential other than the school. Poor community planning allows a bar to be placed there. It’s the only establishment of it’s kind there. And FYI, I don’t live next to the bar. I live 1 1/2 blocks up from it. The rowdies walk towards Queens Boulevard raising hell at closing time. It was a CONSTANT problem with many of my neighbors complaining of the same thing I am. Should we all move?


It was a bucket of blood way before it was ever the Firewater! Spent many a night in that place! So happy to hear that The McGowans are finally reopening. I hope to stop in and congratulate John, Jimmy and Brian in person on St. Patrick’s Day! Best of luck boys!!

Common sense

T Bone u probably should not of moved next to a bar than. If I didn’t like the sound of dogs barking I sure as hell wouldn’t rent near a kennel


Best thing that ever happened to 40th Street was when the Firewater closed. I won’t be looking forward to being woken up by a bunch of rowdy drunks every night at closing time.

Chris H

Best of Luck Guys! I am from the old neighborhood and am happy to see how great the place is looking. Support your neighbors! Renaming it from Firewater to Jack’s is a touching change in memory of a good man.


Jacks ale house will be a friendly and cheerful neighborhood bar where all are welcome to come see some familiar faces, eat from their new kitchen, and be able to sit in peace and enjoy a great ball game or enjoy the nice weather of spring and summer in the new beer garden… Jacks ale house is just what the neighborhood needs and exactly what a patron would want-
come experience for yourself the family environment it has to offer.

Lousy patron

Never known as a bucket of blood. If I thought or knew that I would never bring my kids there. Friendly environment always a pleasure drinking with the locals. The bar is a landmark and a Icon for Sunnyside natives. All negative comments must be people that were thrown out of the bar or band. Mcgowan’s run a clean and safe bar for all patrons and new comers. Never a problem and always a good time.

Patricia Dorfman

gee, i will miss the firewater name and raffish exterior. we named the “firewater & fine art walk” after it that we had along skillman (that dan glasser did most work on) and had hoped to have another all the way down to that corner next year. well, i only have good associations with the spot and good luck with rebirth!


its no longer a bucket of blood bar, because now its a bar for hipsters. And hipsters don’t fight. They put up well placed and strong worded letters.


It looks wonderful! Can’t wait to see the garden. Thirty years ago it was named The Trading Post. Never went in it myself.


Definitely never heard it being a “blood bar”. You should get some facts straight before writing comments like that. Congrats to the boys!! Definitely looking forward to visiting and what a wonderful name in honor of your Dad. Wishing you all the best!

no name!

guess you’re not here long enough to remember like susan said as a bucket of blood bar – thats what it used to be!

The real deal

Finally a bar opening that is fun and extremely reasonable. Can’t wait to enjoy nice warm days in the very spacious beer garden

The point

I’ve been there plenty of times, and have known people who have frequented the establishment for years and never witnessed a fight. I’m sure that if ur remark had any basis than it would not be reopening. I know the bar as a friendly and hospitable establishment.


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