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GoFundMe For Donovan’s Irish Pub Raises More Than $30,000 in 72 Hours

Donovan’s Irish Pub, located at 57-24 Roosevelt Ave.

Jan. 18, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

A GoFundMe page set up to support Donovan’s Irish Pub in Woodside was launched Thursday and more than $30,000 has already been raised.

The bar, located at 57-24 Roosevelt Ave., has been a neighborhood staple for more than 50 years but its owners are struggling to stay afloat and now customers are coming to their aid.

A patron decided to launch the GoFundMe after he saw co-owner Dan Connor on YouTube appealing for financial assistance as part of a competition for bars and restaurants.

“For the first time ever I think we’re not going to make this,” Connor said in the video. “I don’t see us being given the green light to reopen in a true capacity until the end of March, we’re going to miss a second St. Patrick’s Day.”

Connor didn’t expect many people to see the video and was stunned days later by the public’s response.

Several residents, he said, began sharing it and word quickly got around that the bar is in financial trouble. The video has now amassed more than 5,500 views.

One customer was so struck by the video that he decided to set up a GoFundMe for Donovan’s Pub while its owners go through the competition’s application process. The competition is for the Barstool Fund which was set up to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The GoFundMe was created Thursday and the money has flooded in with nearly $30,000 donated within 72 hours from around 300 donors.

“It’s unbelievable, we’re feeling pretty blessed and humbled,” Connor told the Queens Post. ” We have always given to the community so we feel strange about receiving money, it’s a little overwhelming.”

He said that the business has regularly supported youth programs at St. Sebastian’s Church and St. Mary’s Church as well as other local organizations and events.

Gary Smith, the GoFundMe page creator, appealed to the public to chip in to the fund given the charity the owners have shown to the community down through the years.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit them hard,” Smith wrote. “Please let’s all come together to help them survive… and to make sure they remain open for many more years to come.”

Connor bought the bar with his brother-in-law Jimmy Jacobson in 2013 to save it from shuttering permanently. They are both life-long Woodside residents and work full-time in other industries.

“We didn’t buy the bar to become wealthy, we just wanted to preserve it because it means so much to the community.”

The bar, which is situated directly across from St. Sebastian’s church on the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 58th Street, is a popular destination for religious-related functions and private parties. It has many regulars and is known for hosting live music and serving burgers and beer.

The bar seats around 200 people inside but the space is now effectively useless due to the latest ban on indoor dining.

The outdoor area on 58th Street during the summer (Image provided by Dan Connor)

Connor said that they put gazebos up along on 58th Street during the warmer months for outdoor dining but stopped serving once the cold weather set in. The outdoor area seated around 30 people.

He said they did not construct a solid outdoor area because the sidewalk on 58th Street has limited space. He said that space is even more inadequate on Roosevelt Avenue and isn’t practical for such a structure due to its slope.

He said that they are now only open from Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. for takeout and delivery. Staff numbers have been cut from 16 to four.

Connor said that Donovan’s has been supplying food to healthcare workers and food pantries during the pandemic which has kept the bar going.

Donovan’s was preparing up to 500 meals per week at one point as part of an agreement with the non-profit Feed The Front Lines. However, it has been scaled back to around 50 meals per week due to the non-profit’s diminished funds.

“What they did for us was amazing,” Connor said.

O’Donovan’s Pub has been delivering food to frontline workers during the pandemic. (Image provided by Dan Connor)

He said that they have struggled to meet their monthly rent since the business hasn’t been generating enough revenue. The landlord has been very accommodating and has already forgiven two months rent, he said.

The proceeds from the GoFundMe will be used to pay staff and wages first, and then rent, Connor said. He said they are grateful for the donations and the bar will also try to pay the donations forward by making more meals for people in need.

“It’s a special neighborhood,” Connor said.

Donations to the Donovan’s Pub GoFundMe page can be made by clicking here.

O’Donovan’s Pub workers preparing food for frontline workers (Image provided by (Image provided by Dan Connor)

email the author: [email protected]

21 Comments

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Frankjimmy

Its trumps fault donovans cant make ends meet? No its the neighborhood demographics. Its not irish town anymore just like corona isnt Italian anymore

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Starting Gate, The Dugout, Saints and Sinners Sean Ogg are Irish

@FrankJimmy;You must be new. Donovan’s is and was not Irish, it is Irish American. Corona has not been Italian since the 70’s and that was pretty much around the Parkside, The Ice King and Spaghetti Park.

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Justin Gris

Idk. Went in there one time and the hostess told us it was against the state mandate to share an entree. We left. Guess they got what they wanted here.

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When was this 'one time'?

If it was recently then um… Yeah. If it was a while ago they’re probably just making fun of your cheap asses.

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.

I was going to explain my point a bit further but then I remembered that nyc is commonly frequented by extremists and I’m sure this site has its fair share of that demographic. nevermind, enjoy your evening!

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naomi matten

there are so few old fashion Irish bars left in the area, with great atmosphere and serves the best Guiness on tap. What is in a neighborhood if you do not have a great place to drink and have great food.

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I agree

And inside is sooo awesome! Exactly like an Irish/English pub! Little rooms and nooks and crannies!

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Jenny Marino

Took my two granddaughters Kelly & Lauren, to your
delicious pub for years. Love You Donovan’s

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Michelle Lanceman

What a shame. Does anyone think that such hugely damaging and ineffective bans on small businesses such as that on indoor dining would be tolerated if they also affected big corporations bilaterally? The latter is only responsible for 2% of all Covid cases. Big Corporations can afford the scale to move their operations online with remote work avoiding impact and avoid competition. They get to surge ahead with record stock prices and government support while mom and pop and small business fold and their workers lose jobs. Happily only the opinions of the pro-corporate Better Business Bureaus and virtue signalling CEOs count to our political leaders. If they had you’d long ago have heard a very different approach in public policy being promulgated.

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#whataracket!

This is CUOMO’S WAR ON RESTAURANTS AND BARS. He has it in for them, for sure. It would take a team of psychiatrists to figure out why.

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Trumps negligence caused this

Hashtagger- Cuomo wouldn’t have the opportunity to do this if it wasn’t for Trumps negligence.

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Trumps Politicizing caused this

@Michelle: Or have hospitals paralyzed and overwhelmed with the dead and dying, again. Just give Arizona, Southern California and El Paso Texas a call. Kindly provide a solution or two instead of a whiny post.,

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Mary and Joe Hellmann

oh so happy to read this.
They are so deserving.
God bless sll those able to support this wonderful effort.

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Guest

That’s a nice video that’s for sure, I wish we could raise awareness to other and more serious issues like this, instead of turning blind eye and just walking by saying “someone else’s problem” or growing numb to increased crime, homeless, pollution and overall state of sunnyside/woodside!

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