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Former owner of PJ Horgan’s to open a bar on Skillman Avenue

March 9, By Christian Murray

A former owner of PJ Horgan’s is opening an Irish bar on Skillman Avenue in a location that was a former dry-cleaning store.

Joe Gillespie, a Sunnyside resident who co-owned PJ Horgan’s for several years, plans to open an Irish bar/restaurant at 49-02 Skillman Avenue.

“Basically, I’m going to do an updated version of my old store PJ Horgan’s,” Gillespie said at a community board committee meeting last night.

PJ Horgan’s, which had been located at 42-17 Queens Blvd for more than four decades, closed in 2015 after the property was bought by John Ciafone who plans to develop the site or resell it as a development property.

PJ Horgan’s at the time of sale was owned by John Murphy. Gillepsie owned the bar prior to Murphy.

Gillespie said that the Skillman Avenue building is about the same size as PJ Horgan’s. He plans to put in a kitchen and offer quality Irish food.

The site has never been used as a bar/restaurant before so Gillepsie will be revamping the space from scratch.

Gillespie is well known in the neighborhood. He co-owns the Globe Tavern, located at 49-10 Skillman, which he bought with Rena Hershberger in 2014. He has also been a bar tender at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Woodside in recent years.

That section of Skillman Avenue is undergoing a great deal of change. The former Murphy’s Bar, located across the street, is currently being revamped by a new owner. Meanwhile, the Alcove, a popular bar located at 41-11 49th Street, opened at the end of 2015.

Gillespie did not say when he expects to open his new bar, nor what its name will be.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

87 Comments

K. B.

Please phil all 3 are average on a good day. Im talking about a place thats a home run, not some run of the mill average restaurant. These places are average, just like the rest around here




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Eddie g

Your right, but Dont forget in astoria trattoria l’incontro. Awesome, sorrisos italian deli , cristos steak , the deli that has that sandwich the bomb, i forget the name, sal, kris, something




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K. B.

Sunnyside has the most mediocre eateries ive ever seen. So many mid range restaurants. Go to astoria, great delis, some really classic restaurants, way better than here ,no comparison. I cant think of one high end place around here . Dazies used to be, still good but not what they once were. The rest are blah. We need a taverna kyclades, a parkside, a high end steak house. Too many crappy mexican places, run of the mill burger joints.crappy chinese. Place is boring.




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Phil

Nope. Zio, Chihuahua, Sri and Casa del Chef are all excellent, though admittedly only the latter is expensive.




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Sunnyside Sam

I totally agree with you. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for over 20 years and the progress is slower than a snail. Something about this place is stuck in some sort of time warp. As I’ve always said, people come to sunnyside or queens to sleep and for cheap rent (not so much anymore) – and live in Manhattan. Its architecture and planning is akin to a strip mall with residential neighborhoods behind. It is very much NOT NY. Only in the demographic – very diverse – with koreans, irish, hispanic, and irish. Now arabs and turks. But Manhattan is mostly white liberal culture when you stay away from the edges. Other than a multicultural neighborhood dominated by hispanoamerica, Sunnyside has very little in common with other NYC neighborhoods. You have to go to the far neighborhoods of the boroughs to get similar feel and ambiance. And Sunnyside is so close to manhattan – You’d think they would share some traits and qualities. Only Astoria does that, as you highlight.




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K. B.

Too bad joe Gillespie didnt buy horgans building before john ciafone. I wonder why. Too much money, no intrest in staying there? Anyone know?




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Bks40

The plan was to develop the property from the bank on the corner to Horgan’s. I don’t think he would have been able to break that lot off




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Southside is a slum

Might brighten up that part of skillman, its sort of like the southside of qblvd is now. Depressing.




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Bks40

The Globe is a bar. No food. Their competition would be Flynn’s. Horgan’s served food. On Skillman, competition is the Kettle. Maybe Dog and Duck.




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Top of the morning to ya

He should leave the boards up as windows, its a great concept, really good look. Maybe paint a picture on the wood of people eating and drinking. On the inside they could paint people walking by. It would really make the place unique.




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Elroy

I would like to see a rap/hip hop club open. Complete with thugs, all kinds of pimped out cars, i think it would do good. No other spot around here like that. White people would love it, they all try to act like they come from the hood, too bad the hood is the mean streets of sunnyside.




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Howard Brickman

Enough bars we need some other business on skilman ave… how about a bank or a clothing store… ice cream store… phone store… we need more diverstiy on skillman… want to join me in stopping this bar from opening and put another business in thier… we need to take back our town.. our young families have nothing but have bars to visit…




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Phil

Phone store or clothing store would end up being trashy, and bank branches are everywhere, a blight on the city, ridiculous how many. Can’t believe doorknobs on here calling for more of them




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Anonymous

I absolutely loved PJ Horgan’s. Unlike the garbage movie theater people whine about, PJ’s closing was truly a loss for this neighborhood. So while I’m happy to read this news, my fear is that the new bar will be reclaimed wood, Edison bulbs and $9 Guinness. Please, please, please prove me wrong. On a separate but related note, why are drink prices in the neighborhood skyrocketing??? It’s getting to be more expensive than Manhattan.




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Anonymous

Because real estate prices in the neighborhood are skyrocketing. The more you promote the neighborhood, the higher the prices of everything gets.




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Fan of Dough boy park

There are places with 3/$10 in Woodside, draft or bottle, for happy hour. 9$ Guinness is a blight on society. Hopefully there are able to have the same great food , but sometimes the grill/ oven is a big piece. Sarges in the city had best corn beef hash in the 5 boroughs, but a fire shut it down and after re-opening with new grill, it’s not the same. I wish them luck, but it’s hard to recreate greatness




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Dirk Stratmann

Good Luck, Joe. The german firefighter are happy! We defently coming.
See you soon Joe.
Dirk




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Sunny Sher

Wait a New York minute! So we seriously need another bar? No!! But a Greek restaurant would be nice. Or some other cuisine.
I liked PJ’s, too but this is ridiculous.




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Dull Sher

then get off your fat ass and open one- dont always be waiting for someone else to open a business of your preferences




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Dan kelly

THOSE POOR LOST YUPPS AND LIBS ON SKILLMAN ARE LOSING SLEEP……….IRISH PUB…..HOW DARE THEY…..HE YUPPS….LIBS…PROGRESSIVES…….”SUNNYSIDE WAS A GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD……LONG BEFORE YOU GOT RIPPED OFF ON YOUR 500.000.00……600 SQUARE FOOT CLOSET YOU BOUGHT,”….BUILD THAT IRISH BAR…..SI…..




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Joe at Berkley

Yes Dan the liberal Boogeyman is at again,,,Keep listening to Slob Limbaugh andFox News your transformation to complete moron is not fully complete.




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Anonymous

There was a bank, Manufacturer’s Hanover I think, on Skillman up until the early Eighties. It was in the spot that is currently Murphy’s back room.




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Christine Mullaney

So thrilled to hear of this. I do hope you keep the charm of the former PJ Horgan’s and also that you keep the same name. So many people are looking forward to your opening.




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Annab

Oh pleeeese bring back that burger. Of course it was probably so delicious from the beat up Horgan’s grill imbuing it with the perfect char flavor. I dream of that burger – there’s nothing like it.




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Neziah Bliss

GREAT NEWS! Please keep the similar look and feel of the original PJ’s- it was the gem of Sunnyside! All the luck and wishes- I’ll be there for pint the day it opens!




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Sunnyside Sam

Yup. Lets just fix and rebuild sunnyside as though it were the 1950’s!!! Yay!!! Frankly, I’d ask for something different, and I loved Horigans. But life isn’t stagnant. It would be illogical to assume everything will remain constant – spock.




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Anonymous

And you are about as exciting as a bag of dirt. About as smart as well.




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Phil

Didn’t some guy claim he was going to open a rock club here? What happened to that?




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You

They have been working seems like 24/7 on the old Murphys. Anyone know when they are aiming to open?




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samantha

GEEZ LOUISE – that’ll make almost FOUR bars in a relative two block radius. That’s a bit of overkill isn’t it? Surprised that passed zoning.




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Phil

Pretty sure all of those places inherited liquor licenses from previous establishments.




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Anonymous

The previous establishment was a dry cleaner. Space has been empty for almost 2 years.




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Phil

You’re right, I thought this was going in at Murphy’s. However, it’s only one new license out of the new businesses in the area.




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Dorothy Morehead

You don’t inherit a liquor license. Each new business has to apply for its own license.




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Anonymous

Irish bars are native to the area. Coffee bars and organic food shops are the invasive species.




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Sunnyside Sam

Sure. Lets just stop the clock and live like this in eternity. You have any idea what progress means and what the natural organic development of an open society is, right? Apparently not. You don’t want an open society. You prefer to live in colonial 19th century, it seems. If you want irish bars only, go to ireland. This is f*cking america, remember? Where people of all creeds and colors are supposedly accepted. Well, not lately anyway, which is why your sentiments are dangerous to a free and open society.




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Anonymous

Calm down Sam. It’s a corner store. Not a war. Natural organic change has been happening every day of every year since the dawn of time. Except for two periods when real estate developers came in and wiped out on/e culture to put in another so they cold make money. order to make money. There were Native Americans, then Dutch, then English, then German,
then Irish then Asian, then Puerto Rican, then Filipino, Columbian and since then too, too, too many to count. And there was never a war or people accusing each other of being dangerous to a free and open society. You need to sit back and think a while before you spout off like that. You sound like an Authortarian. I lived through some of those changes and no one was ever arrogant or snide until you guys moved in. Cool it.




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Sunnyside Sam

Hmm. When someone calls other cultures an invasive species, I have a problem. The original post suggested that anything that isn’t white isn’t welcome. Or at least an Irishman who want’s to live in ireland because there aren’t enough places to get a pint of irish beer. At least that’s how it appeared to me. I am far from an authoritarian, but when you use terms like “invasive species,” then it points to a society that is far from free and open. It’s social engineering to benefit the status quo or what someone wants – more irish bars. Nobody said anything about a war. You did.




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Sunnyside Sam

Hmm. When someone calls other cultures an invasive species, I have a problem. The original post suggested that anything that isn’t white isn’t welcome. Or at least an Irishman who want’s to live in ireland because there aren’t enough places to get a pint of irish beer. At least that’s how it appeared to me. I am far from an authoritarian, but when you use terms like “invasive species,” then it points to a society that is far from free and open. It’s social engineering to benefit the status quo or what someone wants – more irish bars. Nobody said anything about a war. You did.




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Pythagoras

Nah, Every bar owner around the neighborhood is living out a dream. If their dream is to open up an Irish Establishment, good on ’em! I can’t do any better right now myself, but perhaps you might be able to bring something fresh to the neighborhood. If you have any ideas or pitches, feel free to bring them up to the community development board. I’m like you in the fact that i like to see more innovation in the neighborhood, but i’ll disagree that the neighborhood is in a time suck. I’m looking forward to seeing your ideas come to fruition!




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Sunnyside Sam

Oh I have ideas. Lots of ’em. I also have the background and have lived in this neighborhood longer than I care to admit. You have capital? I’ll transform Sunnyside in a way that will benefit all. It’ll be great. Fabulous. Phenomenal. Believe me. It will be the best thing evar.




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Sunnyside Sam

Oh I have ideas. Lots of ’em. I also have the background and have lived in this neighborhood longer than I care to admit. You have capital? I’ll transform Sunnyside in a way that will benefit all. It’ll be great. Fabulous. Phenomenal. Believe me. It will be the best thing evar.




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Christopher Perez

Please notify me for any bartender positions while I live around the corner on 43rd Ave and have experience working at Donovans Pub and Studio Square in Astoria.




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Mac

Good luck Joe. I hope you bring back the booths, great burgers, delicious pot pie and pitchers of beer. Some things just never go out of style.




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Kristen McGowan

Yes! Please bring back the Irish soda bread, french onion soup, and chicken pot pie!!




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Anonymous

I hope he can bring in the Tiffany lights from PJs. I so miss PJs and the comfortable atmosphere.




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Phil

Little weird to open a bar with the same concept as a bar you co-own down the block. Won’t you be siphoning your own customers? I guess it keeps a true competitor from moving in though?

Also, unfortunately: quality. Irish. food. Any two of the three together is a common sight, but all three together is seen as often as a leprechaun.




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Dorothy Morehead

The Globe is a bar and doesn’t have food. P.J. Horgan’s had great food. I’m looking forward to one of their great burgers.




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way to go joe

let me wish you the best of luck, Joe with your new business and that you have the courage to open a business and taking on debt. Because before the clock strikes 12 tonight the usual bunch with their negative remarks about what the store should be and how we can’t have more of this and less of that all the while those same individuals have never done a damn thing for commerce in Sunnyside.




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QueenzGal

This is LITERALLY the best news I’ve heard ALL day! YES YES YES YES YES. Can’t wait!




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Sir Walter Raleigh.

No please don’t! not another Irish Bar with the same OLD FARTS smelling of old spice and down on there luck and whining about the Good Old days.

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