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Irish Music Festival to Hit Boulevard on Saturday, Boys & Girls Club to Benefit

The Courtyard 

Sept. 4, 2013 By Christian Murray

Ten bars and restaurants on Queens Blvd—known as Sunnyside’s Boulevard of Bars—are hosting a joint Irish music festival this Saturday.

The event, titled Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, will feature fiddlers, accordion players and Irish guitarists. The music will simultaneously begin at 7pm at all the participating bars where Buds/Bud lights will be sold for $3 all evening.

The festival will also be used as a means to raise funds for the Sunnyside Woodside Boys & Girls Club, which was founded in 2010 and provides after school programming six days a week for about 150 children at PS 199 and St Teresa’s.

The bars will be selling raffle tickets, with the proceeds going to the club, and donating funds. The bars helped raise $3,000 for the fire house at Engine 325/Ladder 163 on 51st Street when they hosted the St. Patrick’s Day music event in early March. That event drew hundreds of party goers.

Liz Taylor, the manager of Bliss Street Station, came up with the idea to raise funds this time for the Sunnyside Woodside Boys & Girls Club. She has developed a strong relationship with the organization and said the funds will go a long way to helping the club develop its programs.

“We’ve come a long way in just three years [since the club started],” said founder Mark Wilensky. “We keep kids off the streets, teach them leadership – but we need more in the way of donations.”

The total annual cost for a child to participate in the programs is just $25.

The lineup for Saturday night’s event is extensive, with the participating pubs offering the following:

The Courtyard Ale House – The Prodigals

Bar 43 – Soundalicious and John Malone

Maggie Mae’s – Without George

The Gaslight – Krash

PJ Horgan’s Bar and Restaurant – Matt Mancuso & Trad Session

McGuinness’s – Allen Gogarty

Molly Blooms – Enda Keegan

Arriba Arriba – 3 DJs!

Bliss Street Station – Karaoke!

Sidetracks – Steve Reilly Band


Date: Saturday, Sept. 7

Time: 7 pm

Location: Any of the participating bars

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

Went to a few participating bars on Saturday night and had the most amazing time (I’m Puerto Rican). I really like the idea of Sunnyside’s brand as THE destination place for visitors looking for authentic Irish fare, music and drinks.

The Grimster

Went to Jack’s ale house on Skillman and 40th Yesterday and was treated to a great one man band in John Rafferty nice laid back place to hang out.

Dorothy Morehead

@ Long time Sunnyside resident
The way our posts appeared, it seemed like I was correcting your spelling. Sorry. I was correcting myself.


Their version of Pernil (latin-style roast pork) is delicious (Schweinebraten.) And who does love sausages and mustard! Plus, they have great music, with accordian and tuba, everyone’s favorite instruments. We would also attract Polish people and people from Czech Republic. They’re almost as much fun as the Irish. And the Slovakians? Fuhgedabodit!

Queen Bee

I would be in favor of a German place in Sunnyside! Astoria’s beer garden is hopping and the Courtyard sells tons of Hauf Brau (HB) beer to indicate its popularity in the area. Not to mention the need for decent comfort food and a representation of another ethnicity.

Dorothy Morehead

When I first visited Sunnyside, there was a large German population here, primarily on the south side of Queens Boulevard in the 40s blocks. I came to visit a German colleague and her German-American husband. Between a low birthrate and the population decline caused by flight to the suburbs due to the woes of the 1970s, that population was decimated and never recovered. I doubt there would be enough demand for German food to sustain a restaurant in Sunnyside. Zum Stamich in Glendale still offers authentic German food in a Bavarian setting.


Tha Brauhaus closed in the 80’s- I was living in Woodside at the time and rode over to check it out one day, thinking there might be soem lonely Fräuleins there. It turned out to be a depressing old-man’s bar, with flourescent lighting, as I recall.

To be honest, I thought it was in the building that is not that Himalayan/Nepalese place.

Schnitzel, cole slaw, some pickles, and a Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier Dunkel? Not heavy, and Gott in Himmel, es schmeckt gut.

Long time Sunnyside resident

@spam that German resteraunt was on 41st and qns blvd ( where cvs s now) it closed in the early 90s. It then became the orchard and then blooms which burned down.

Spam, egg, sausage and spam

Witty, oddly enough there used to be a German Brauhaus on Queens Blvd back in the 60’s and 70’s, perhaps as late as the 80’s I believe.


According to Most common places of birth for the foreign-born residents in 11104:

Ecuador (10%)
Korea (10%)
Bangladesh (9%)
Colombia (9%)
China, excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan (7%)
Romania (6%)
Turkey (4%)

Most common first ancestries reported in 11104

Other groups (54%)
Irish (8%)
Italian (5%)
Romanian (4%)
German (2%)
Turkish (2%)
Armenian (2%)

Well, I think it’s interesting! I like Bavarian folk music and would live a German restaurant that served brat wurst, schnitzel, and real German beer! Enough with the Guiness already.

Long time Sunnyside resident

@86 mets you should be banned from writing comments on this site.crawl back into your cave and leave the rest of us alone. You must be one miserable person

45th and Skillman

“Sunnyside’s Boulevard of Bars”?

That just rolls off the tongue. Sunset Strip. Miracle Mile.

Boulevard of Bars.

Long time Sunnyside resident

Also where are you going to have a “carnival”? Who s going to pay for that??? And how are you going to raise money at that? If anyone who has objections to the upcoming event and can find a better idea to raise money not involving locals please feel free to let the community know about them. Also if you would like to donate some time to improving our neigherhood set up a meeting and a location and I will be there.

Long time Sunnyside resident

Firstly what do u expect to hear in Irish bars??? There are also bars involved in this that you will probably not hear any Irish music on that nite. Who said it is about BINGE drinking??? This is a fund raiser for the boys and girls club . The bar owners and their staff have put a lot of their time into making this event successful. If all you people want to do so much good for the neighborhood why don’t you get off your behinds and actually do something?The children of this neighborhood are our future but your too busy knocking everyone to realize that. Hide behind your computers in your isolated world and be happy because personally you are all a bunch of small minded people with nothing better to do with your lives. You don’t want “hipsters” “dog runs” or anything else that improves your neigherhood. I just wonder when was the last time you did anything to improve your surroundings? Do u pick u litter, remove graffiti, donate to charity’s or volunteer at the food pantry??? I doubt it very much. Last time you probably left your apt was “86”


Why do they have to drink to raise money? Why do they not have a carnival or something kids can participate and learn??


@People, ok noted that its not all irish music at this event. To be fair I was referring more the lack of original bands and singer/songwriters performing in Sunnyside. I don’t have a problem with Irish music, I don’t have a problem with any music in fact, but once in a while it’d be nice to go for a couple pints in the courtyard or gas light etc and not have to listen to an old guy with a guitar murdering covers (USUALLY Irish covers at that). There is so much talent around, I don’t understand why local bars (and let’s face it, most locally are Irish, hell most in New York are Irish) can’t book something new and different. I’m not hating @houseoshea, just asking for something new, its about time. And yes I know there are latin rock bars, and the wild turkey has the occasional punk night, and claret does have various selections at times, but on the whole, its one man and a shanty.

Spam, egg, sausage and spam

O’shea, it seems as if you’ve had a sip or two of the “haterade” too.

Just some food for thought: maybe, just maybe, some people see things a bit differently than you and maybe they even disagree with you about some things. It doesn’t necessarily make them “haters.” That word gets tossed around rather flippantly these days. It’s lost much of its potency.

People,Two of the bands do not play Irish music, one has a DJ and one has Karaoke. So even though this is being looked at as an Irish celebration night, to raise money, 40% of the entertainment will not be Irish music. If you do not want to hear Irish Music, in an Irish bar, there are for many other options in the neighborhood.


This isn’t all Irish music either. Krash doesn’t play Irish music. Karaoke isn’t either and pretty much everyone else mixes it up. It’s for a good cause too.


@The Rope “Start a club/venue.” that’s a bit of a ridiculous comment. You are being pretty aggressive considering my request was to include some other music too (at no point did I ask for a full on ban on Irish music!), would it be so wrong to mix it up a bit though. If you are Irish yourself, surely you don’t only listen to Irish music and could appreciate something a little different in the bars from time to time. If not then maybe it’s you that needs to broaden your cultural horizon. Also, would you like to share any of these other things that I seem to be unaware of, or is that just an empty statement?

Spam, egg, sausage and spam

There was some excellent mariachi music for free recently. No need to enter a bar to hear it either.

The Rope

Start a club/venue. Or widen your cultural horizons… there’s a lot going on that you seem to be unaware of. So crazy that Irish bars have Irish music!!!!


@The Rope, should I really have to go to a different area just for the chance to listen to some decent music. I’m sure I’m not the only person wanting a break from the Irish music all the time.


A.A. is a good cause too.

Can’t they give poor, old Saint Pat a rest once in a while? When did he become the patron saint of binge drinking anyway?

The Rope – go hang out in Williamsburg.
86Mets – it’s a benefit, supporting a great community resource.


They can’t even wait till March to have another Saint Patrick’s Day booze up?

“Halfway” to Saint Pat’s? Sorry, but that’s just pathetic.


Oh man, I am so fed up of Irish music in Sunnyside. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against it, but it is ALL that any of the bars ever have (except the occasional dreary american songbook cover band, or punk show at ‘Wild Turkey’ previously ‘Off the Blvd’). With all the bands and talent in New York, can the bars please start booking something different!!!


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