July 25, 2013 By Christian Murray
Ten Sunnyside bars and restaurants came together today and delivered a $3,000 check to a firehouse in Woodside.
The bars—all located on or near Queens Blvd—raised the funds when they held an Irish Music Concert in March, which coincided with St. Patrick’s Day.
The group of bars, which have formed an organization called Sunnyside’s Boulevard of Bars, delivered the check to Engine 325/Ladder 163 on 51st Street.
Capt Jim Duff, of Ladder Company 163, said: “We love and appreciate the support. I grew up in Woodside and this community has always been great.”
Duff said the $3,000 would be put toward building a bailout wall in the back yard of the firehouse, where firefighters can practice jumping out of windows using what’s known as a personal safety system (PSS).
He said that the system is equipped with a hook that fits into the corner of a window frame and is attached to rope—so firefighters can jump out of windows if they are trapped inside of a building. He said that the PSS is a new device and that in the past there were firefighters who died jumping out of windows when they couldn’t flee a building.
The Sunnyside Boulevard of Bars includes establishments such as Molly Blooms, Bliss Street Station, the Gaslight and Sidetracks. The bars’ fundraising concert in March was a big hit, when Irish fiddlers, accordion players and guitarists played at venues throughout the neighborhood.
The group has already planned another event—The Half Way to St. Patrick’s Day Music Concert– on September 7, which will benefit the Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club.
Nick Murphy, a co-owner of Bar 43, said the bars elected to support the firefighters in March since “everyone appreciates the hard work they do and how they put their lives on the line for people in this neighborhood.”
Meanwhile, Pat Burke, the co-owner of the Courtyard, said “the locals support our bars, so this is a way to give back to the community.”
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who was in attendance, said that the event was an example of what makes Sunnyside and Woodside the great communities that they are. “These small business owners are not just concerned about themselves but about the entire neighborhood.”