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Murphy’s Closed, Shut Down by Court Order

Murphys closure

Aug. 20, 2015 By Christian Murray

Murphy’s Bar, located at 48-18 Skillman Avenue, closed for good Wednesday.

The establishment was shutdown by the landlord who took possession of the space by court order.

A marshal’s notice was posted on the front door of the bar/restaurant that was filed by the landlord against Murphy’s and proprietor Mike Murphy.

The abrupt closure comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Bliss Street Station, an Irish bar located on Greenpoint Avenue, is shutting its doors this Sunday.

Location Murphy's expanded into

Location Murphy’s expanded into

Two years ago, Murphy expanded his business by taking over the space next door—formerly an Ecuadorian restaurant—to open a seafood restaurant.

Murphy, who also owns a pub/restaurant on Long Island (Mineola), then merged it with his existing bar.

The restaurant menu was almost exclusively seafood, where he served items such as lobster, oysters, clams, shrimps, mussels, and crab legs.

Murphy could not be reached for comment.

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164 Comments

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Chris

Oh guess what you morons defending him. His other place is closing down. Fake booze, workers not paid, no AC and him yelling at customers. Horrible owner.

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Abcdefg

Not surprised that it closed down. This place had so many issues. First off the cooks had no papers. Second off the way they treated their workers is unbelievable. It was off the books and they would only pay you $10 a shift. They would give you your measly $40 A WEEK in cash, plus you’d get your money they owed you at least half a week to a week late. The reason they served tilapia with their fish n chips is because they were too cheap to buy any other fish. They would make you as a waiter tell the customers that the reason we use tilapia for fish n chips is because it “works well with out batter”…lie… The “owner” was an extreme hot head and I witnessed him explode on customers because they were un-satisfied with their food. Not to mention the owner would bribe the workers and customers to write good reviews on Yelp after he would get a bad one to cover it up. If the customers knew half of what happened behind closed doors they’d never have came back! Was a very bad place to work, and to dine. Just a bad place all together.

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Luis H.

Went there a couple of times with my wife Murphy seemed like a nice guy but what do I know the Food was Meh the booze was fine. The service was good if they knew you but was marginal if they did not.

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Skillman Ave

People want good service. If service is good, the marginal food is easier to accept. (See: Kettle)

“Hello!”
Drink
Food Order
Food.
Check.
“Goodbye”

This is not rocket science people.

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Skillman Ave

Approached with wife and child. Restaurant door said to enter through bar. Bar, including bartender, had the weirdest vibe ever. You know how the proverbial needle on the record stops and all eyes turn to the door and no one says a word?

Went in, sat down for a minute.

Here’s our conversation.

You wanna leave?
Yes.
Good, let’s get the f outta here.

I left a $2 courtesy on the table and hit the bricks. If we had felt remotely welcome, we’re spending $200 a month in there.

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seth

@ Mac and Joe..you 2 bozos deserve each other..why don’t you arrange to have a drink together!..

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king henrik

Your homophobic. I’m totally straight, but im a business person, gay people’s money is as green or greener than yours. I would welcome gays into any biz that I owned. Problem is with the bias attitude that general public Has it becomes an issue. It shouldn’t be an issue. It’s none of our business what grown adults do in private. When your business is failing you try to save it with anyone who wants to patronize your place. Common business sense. All these comments, I bet no one commenting ever owned a business.

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seth

I’m not a homophobe Henrik and I understand business. .If you fly the Mexican flag well then you are promoting Mexican business. You hang an Italian flag well then I suppose it’s an Italian restaurant? ..You hoist the gay pride flag well then it’s a gay establishment. .it’s all very simple and it was a bad move for business

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Hoof Hearted

Simple solution: don’t fly any flags except the American one. Let people know the bar welcomes everyone.

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Hoof Hearted

Put it this way: if he flew the Confederate Flag, do you think it just might affect business?

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seth

Finally someone understands the point I’ve been trying to make..I’m not a homophobe and I do support gay business. .i am a frequent customer at the White Cake Bakery and the fact that the owners are gay has nothing to do with the quality of food or service

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Mac

Seth go back and read your gay obsessed posts. As I said I’ve asked over a dozen people now and will continue to ask if anyone can name a person who stopped going to Murphy’s over the flag issue. Your post is absolute conjecture. Kindly provide just one name of a person who stopped going to Murphy’s over this silly issue of yours. Speculation and conjecture are not facts and what you believe and feel do not trump truth, fact or history. There is definitely and beyond a shadow of doubt an obsessive type of tone in your posts. Also you have totally ignored the downward trend in patronage which was evident years before the flag issue. I guess history and fact don’t fit within your silly obsessed world. Oh here is a shock to you, gay people have been going to Murphy’s since I worked there in the 70’s and even up until last Friday night when I stopped in.

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Joe at the Berkley

Mac you’re absolutely right, this guy Seth acts like he is taking some type of credit for something, exacting something as he sees punitive. He seems to be gloating. Like a piro at the scene of his fire.

Bowery Boy

Why would “Hoisting the Gay Pride Flag” be the beginning of the end for Murphy’s? If the service is good, and the prices are fair, and the food is worth the price, what is the difference, unless of course you are a “Homophobic Bigot” or something?
The problem was one that Henrik properly illustrated, the business climate in the neighborhood and the fact that Murphy started the restaurant, seriously it served poor quality seafood. Who goes to an Irish place for Seafood anyway, when you can go to Astoria for some of the best Seafood in the City?

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king henrik

Here’s the problem
1-not the best part of Skillman for biz.
2-in business,you HAVE to own the building, hopefully with multi use,an apartment above, to pay some of your morgage. Landlords are killing the mom/pop stores. Go own a bar,see how hard it is to come up with 5-7 thousand a month for rent, 2 grand, con ed, $900gas, $1000 more insurance, (sales,unemployment, liability,w.comp,@more) water usually 75% or more which run into the thousands..lets not forget payroll that includes the task of getting good help which is incredibly hard to get.several taxes which are insanely high.do most of you realise that the biz owner who don’t own the building has to pay part of the owners property taxes, which should be Part of your high rent.their greedy, that building probably don’t have a morgage ,or a small one. Why smother yourTennant if you want them to make it..
2-Customers like posting here that they were too expensive, (see landlord quote ). People want everything cheap. Cost of doing biz in just too high. New younger folks come in looking for pbr for $2.00, cheap apps,or entree deals,you just can’t do it,there’s not enough turnover,a guy or a couple ,spend $15 on drinks and tie up your table for two hrs with their devices.
most of you posting with your comments are way out of whack here with these comment,you have no clue or have never Owned a business.
3-don’t know mr.murphy, wish him well,anybody who tries to open a biz,I wish the best,it’s just not financially feeisible if you don’t own the property. Perfect ex,shelled on roosevelt, heard rent was $7k+, gotta sell a lot of $3 happy hr beers that you guys ask for to pay the pre- mentioned expenses. But getting back to the owner, sometimes, the owner is better off letting his staff do their jobs,and his time is better off on working on things that make you reach the goals you set. Problem is getting a quality staff. Very hard.
4-too many place,way too much competition

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seth

You are spot on Henrik!!!…but hoisting the gay pride flag and proudly letting it fly was the beginning of the end for Murphy’s

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Joe at the Berkley

@seth again your preoccupation with gay people blinds your judgement and your discussion. Some would have said the beginning of the end was the winter people had to bring their own heaters into the bar. Remember that Fiona?

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Mac

Hey Seth Why do constantly post conjecture as fact? Here are some facts for you to contend with you Fox watching imbecile. Murphy’s was standing room only on Friday and Saturday nights. One of the similar problems my family has with the 2 bars will currently still own and operate in Manhattan and Astoria. (Oh, did I also mention my family owned Murphy’s back in the 70’s? I also worked there.) At one time this type of business model could sustain an establishment like Murphy’s (small local). With the escalating rent and insurance costs you need to be packed just about every night before you see any type of profit. As for taxes they’re a piece of the take and if you owe taxes you’re making money at one time taxes were easily avoided when it was an all cash business but so much of the business now is debit and credit card related transactions. Especially the younger people. I know many of the people posting to this stream Joe, Fiona, Emily, “anonymous” and a few others from the bar and not one of us has met a person who stopped going to Murphy’s because of Mike’s stand on not allowing himself to be bullied by an anonymous black mailing coward. When I see Mike out in Mineola I am going to show him your post and then call C Murray to pull your e-mail address and send it to the 108 because I get a very creepy vibe by your posts and honestly believe you are the person behind the threats to Mike. Buddy you’re one creepy warped jerk. Joe is right in his determination of your diagnosis as “repressed”. You do know a criminal complaint was filed concerning those letters.

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Angelo

Seth, you are so deep in the closet your are sitting on a box of Christmas ornaments from 1967.

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Comment Threads Make Me Sad

I will have to visit more establishments with pride flags so it will be easy to avoid people like Seth

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Ric Watts

So sad for Mr. Murphy. I know that he had serious health issues over the past couple of years. I went often on Saturday or Sunday afternoon for wonderful oysters and a pepsi. I hope all the loyal employees will find employment quickly.

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Hail Satan!

I would be interested when the space goes ip for grabs. I need a good space for satanic rituals. And yes , we will keep the rainbow flag along side the stars and stripes oh and mabey burgers too. Amd il get donnie back to play some black Sabbath and a bit of flamenco guitar too! Why is it that only seems to be us Satanists who want to keep everyone in Sunnyside happy?.all welcome btw even trust fund hipsters and what the hell Catholics too. Peace love and Hail Satan!!

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Another Mexican Place

Does anyone who writes in to these articles have a job? Fast food doesn’t count. I think the question should be I’m not a moron not I’m not a robot.

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Anthony Hillick

Shocked to see it close. Mike is a nice guy. Murphy’s was a big plus for the nabe. I came down from Elmhurst to drink there.My heart goes out to the staff, especially Karen. Good luck with the nursing studies. Wishing the owner and staff all the best life can bring.

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rikki

again when will sunnyside finally get a place where we can dance. and not rap hip hop or Spanish ,i miss the old sidetracks where there was dancing after 10 pm.

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Sunnysider

The scumbag didn’t even have the decency to tell his staff that that space was being seized by the landlord!! Now I hear that he has no intentions of paying his employees their final wages. I hope they turn that bum in with labor board !!?

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Sean

They can file a wage claim with NYSDOL, if the owner doens’t have money they will almost never get paid. If your employer misses payroll even once for more than a few people, run!

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Rocky Balboa

Before Dog & Duck opened there were two other restaurants at that space, one run by Dorothy Morehead. I went there only once. It was overpriced and I did not like the attitude. I went there with a friend who is a real foodie and he was turned off. We never returned. The whole thing should be a lesson to people in that business.

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Rocky Balboa

Initial menu was AWFUL. It improved as it went on but too much trial and error. I really wanted to like it at first.

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Anonymous visitor

Murphy’s place was full of gossip staff including owner instead of focusing how to fix the place.

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Jimjim

You forgot to change “to” to “too” while doing your proofreading, genius. Now tell us the rest of your info.

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Sunnysider

Mike Murphy is not a descent man!! I do not feel a bit sorry for him!! He burned to many bridges and had way too many enemies in the neighborhood. He was not a good employer or businessman!!!

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Sunnysider

He treated his staff badly esp the Hispanic ones!! He owed so many people money!! He put cheap liquor in the premium bottles!! He is a pathological liar and a cheat!! Did his best to screw people over! He also wasn’t honest about himself. Do I need to go on!!

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Anon

Sunnysider, you seem to be quite bitter about Mike Murphy. You are obviously someone he knows. Would you care to identify yourself? Doubt you would say such mean nasty things if you could not hide behind a computer screen.

Get a life, you pathetic loser. And stop libeling good hardworking folks on the internet.

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Yup

My boyfriend had lived in Sunnyside for 10 years and we loved the trad music at Murphy’s until we went there and the Jameson was clearly cut with cheap liquor. It was a shame, but we never went back. You can’t do that and expect customers to stay your customers.

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Doni

Well said Sunnysider!!! I couldn’t agree more with you!!! His staff went home on a Sunday nite and arrived to Murphy’s the following day only to discover that they had no job…

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scully

Where are the local historians? When did Murphy’s begin? I recall going there 10 years or so ago.

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Luvu2

Where are geeky misfit runners going to go on Tuesday and Thursday ? Back to kettle where they can split up bill

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whyr

my 2 year old wondered in to watch a soccer game on the tele… he’s cute so the bartender bought him (me?) a drink… so thanks to that bartender lady.

but the restaurant looked like a theme park ride…

i hope a trust fund hipster opens a cat walking service.
r.

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QueensGal

I love it so now “hipster” has been upgraded to “trust fund hipster” on Sunnyside Post. Hilarious.

Bummer about Murphys though. Cool bar- the restaurant part- imo- not so much. That concept made zero sense to me.

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Luvu2

Everybody thinks Karen the bartender held on to her job cause she was threatening owner she booked lousy music and was good bartender only to friends

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Lolly

Hopefully a Burger King will take the space for all the burger lovers , foodies & Yelpers in the neighborhood.

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Luvu2

Letting the bartender I think it is Karen run so much of the place was mistake big turnover in personnel

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Rocky Balboa

I always wondered why Karen was allowed to run so much. Most of the music was awful except for Chris Campion.

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Bowery Boy

I always got “Buy Backs” from Fiona, I thought she had a very quick wit and wry sense of humor.

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Anonymous visitor

Fiona was cool! She could be rough around the edges at first, but that never lasted long!

Bart

Since I moved to Sunnyside a couple years ago, I went in there a couple of times but I stopped after a while because, quite frankly, they weren’t very friendly. The drinks were expensive and no buy backs, even after a bunch of rounds. I got the impression that the staff didn’t want me there, same for the regulars. No hard feelings and I wish the owner/staff well — losing your job sucks. Just saying I understand.

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Rocky Balboa

If you want to see no buy backs, try Claret! They don’t offer a free drink even to people who bring in business!

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UpMAyo

It was nothing to do with Donie and his ‘musicians’. If he was a big attraction he would have succeeded in Cafe Marlene, The Globe (both of which he was quickly kicked out of) and Aubergine, where he’s now playing on Wednesday nights to a bunch of OAP’s for free.

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Anonymous

He never should have added the restaurant. That and the loss of Donie playing music there killed the place. And hell yes he should have had burgers. Sad to see it go.

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4thGenIrishguy

Actually I think it was the opposite….Donie and his musicians are the kiss of death on a bar. Have you noticed that every bar he played in on that block has closed down? Murphys, Globe, Cafe Marlene!!! Watch out Aubergine….the business grim reaper is probably enroute………

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Anonymous visitor

The Globe is thriving because it welcomes everyone! None of this racist and homophobic bullshit!

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Seth

The gay community who he so boldly supported by flying the rainbow flag did not return the favor…He alienated his regular customers. .He didn’t have the decency to fly the American flag but opted for the rainbow. ..

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Kramden's Delicious Marshall

Good point. By flying the rainbow flag, he may have given the impression that it was a gay bar.

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LOL

How does flying a rainbow flag alienate his regular customers? And why would flying an American flag be the “decent” thing to do?

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Seth

The owner hung the rainbow flag in a display of solidarity with the sunnyside parade for all…He continued to display the flag long after the this so called St. Patrick’s parade…I don’t understand why? I again conclude that he alienated his core customers in a feeble effort to drum up business from the gay crowd..It backfired and that is a simple fact

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Seth

By selling oysters and hanging the rainbow flag he expected to woo the gay crowd from Molly Blooms. .

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seth

@Mike ..you call me an idiot?..really? You’ve got to be pretty stupid if you think that rainbow flag didn’t have any influence on Murphy’s patrons

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Bowery Boy

If you entertain clients that are actually influenced by weather or not there is a “Rainbow Flag” on the place, you are really dooming yourself to serving homophobic bigots. I’ve gone to Murphy’s and the other Skillman Avenue Taverns since the Mid-Sixties, back When the “Dog and Duck” was still “Davy Jones Locker” and Flynn’s Garden was the “Colonial”, I never even noticed the “Rainbow Banner” or whatever it was. I did hate when they put television Screens in all the bars, I always liked a quiet bar without any Sports, where you could have a few drinks and listen to a good “Juke Box”, and chill out after a day at work.

Joe at the Berkley

@seth your ignorance is great. You’re a man who had never stepped foot in this establishment. You know absolutely nothing on this topic do do us a favor and take your gay obsession to forum designed for homophobes. Your exactly like senator Craig Jeffereries, rev. Ted haggard and Roy Cohn. We know exactly what your about you repressed homosexual. You’re a great example of the lady professing too much.

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open your eyes bot

what about the people talking down about the spanish community? or are gay people more superior to you racist people?

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Joe at the Berkley

@Seth you know absolutely nothing about Murphy’s or its clients. You have never even stepped in the establishment you ignorant Fox watching polarizing low performing low IQ low wage idiot.

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seth

@Joe…I have frequented Murphy’s and I’m familiar with his clientele ..if it was the rainbow flag that lured you in you must have been quite disappointed. .I suggest you visit Molly Blooms or the Claret to find what it is you may be searching for!

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Joe at the Berkley

@seth I hung out in Murphy’s when it was the chatter box, ragtime, billy ‘os Mitchell’s the brandy well and Murphy’s. Go back to borough park loser. If you’re an example of the new blood then just keep moving on, Brooklyn and Astoria aren’t far and would welcome you that’s if you could afford the rent.

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Raji_Navreen

I didn’t notice the flag. Is a non homophobic bar now gay? Like those other 2 you mentioned I don’t think are.

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Fuk you puta

At Jose at the Berkley, shocked you aren’t a Fox News watcher yourself considering your support for Emily’s racist anti Spanish post

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Joe at the Berkley

@Seth what is your definition of the word bold?? Dude you’re one hateful self loathing repressed homosexual.. You’re one twisted sister.

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JOReilly

I wonder if the turn of fortune is related to Mike Murphy’s health issues over the past year. All the best to Mike and the staff at Murphy’s.

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Emily mackin

I just hope it doesn’t become a Spanish bar we don’t need them taking over our neighborhood

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Fuk you puta

I knew there would be at least one idiot lamenting that they hope it doesn’t become a Spanish establishment of some sort.

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Angelo

At least trust fund/hipster/yuppies aren’t a bunch of homophobic racists like most people commenting here. If this is be best Sunnyside has to offer, you deserve every bit of woe gentrification is going to bring.

Joe at the Berkley

@Emily I’m right there with you sister!!! Thank you for a refreshing honest post.

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Anonymous visitor

too late Emily, your old-school neighborhood is gone. It’s gone, just like your dreams.

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Sunnyside Baby

this is a real loss for the community. this place had some amazing food and the employees were incredible as well. Hope that it can be worked out. Mike is an incredible

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Sunnyside Baby

Sorry, Mike is a well-established businessman and I hope that he is able to stay in the neighborhood in one way or another.

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Rocky Balboa

Food was very good but it started out near winter when people are not thinking of sea food and took a while to build clientele. Needed burgers on the menu immediately. Also, I think the bar lost some of the older clientele. I hope another nail salon does not take over. ENOUGH!!!! Also needed better music.

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Bowery Boy

The Bar was great, good music especially when they had the Irish Music, and I loved the “raw Bar” on the weekends. While the ambiance was good
, the restaurant menu was not good, poorly prepared and with very slow service. Having eaten there a few times I’m not surprised the restaurant failed.

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I Know Everything

I loved that place and I think Mike is a great guy. Really all they really needed was a burger on the menu, to go with the beer, and an updated dining room decor and he might not have run the place into the ground.

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Skill&48

A high-quality Irish breakfast probably would have brought folks in on Sundays for brunch, too. (I know I’d have gone for it regularly.)

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ak_nyc

Heard they were trying to quietly shop it around for $450k (just key money!). I’m guessing they owed a lot of back taxes and likely unpaid rent.

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Sunnyside Local

That’s the only two reasons the Marshall’s would grab it. Although the article says it “shutdown by the landlord who took possession of the space by court order”. So it’s probably rent. When they re-worked the lease to gain the extra space the rent probably reflected the fact we’re a B.I.D. We’ve seen the neighborhood decimate by closures. It would be nice to see some actual business development for a change.

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ak_nyc

“When they re-worked the lease to gain the extra space the rent probably reflected the fact we’re a B.I.D”

Can you explain this a bit more…?

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Anonymous visitor

Not part of the BID. Also not surprising that you wouldn’t understand that but would bring it up anyhow.

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Dorothy Morehead

Skillman Avenue is not part of the BID. Only Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue are in the BID,

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Rocky Balboa

Is Stephen Murphy the guy who used to clap like a trained seal after Donie Carroll played?

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Anon

Doubt Stephen Murphy is having a good laugh…considering he is working as a bus boy in a restaurant in the city.

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shawn

i live right across the street and this is so sad. but i duno why people are hating on the seafood bar. they did have meat dishes as well as the seafood dishes. so there was something for everyone. its so sad to hear its closing. 🙁

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Victoria

I agree- and they had a bar menu with cheap, tasty bites. great beer and cheap whiskey selection. going to miss this place a lot!

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Bowery Boy

The “Seafood” wasn’t good, I had overcooked salmon and a tasteless fillet of flounder. I had to ask for lemon, WTF? I liked the Bar.

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Curlicue58

Where do u come from to make a statement like that and your 2 other comrades below u? Maybe u ought to think about moving out cause all my gay friends are moving in. All those empty pubs are becoming gay bars and the street is being renamed SKILLEDMEN ????????

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Dave McLaughlin

This is real loss for our community. It will get worse when it morphs into a trust-funder/hipster haunt.

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Silent majority

It already has. I went here a few times the $1 oysters where good. I feel bad for the guy who worked the raw bar. Was hard working and nice. Hope he’s not out of work for long.

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crackerjack

Very sad. I hope it doesn’t become a nail salon/bank/stay vacant for several years. I am not surprised though, there was rarely more than a couple of people at the bar and maybe one or two tables with customers in the seafood restaurant when I would walk by. I often wondered how they were able to afford the rent. I guess they couldn’t.

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Krissi

The prices were a bit high. They were good though. I went there on Sundays pretty often for their $1 oysters. I always said they should add just a regular hamburger to their menu you know? Sad – this place was adorable.

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crackerjack

Right- there wasn’t much to offer non-seafood eaters and it was on the expensive side. There are so many families with young kids in the neighborhood, I think if they tried to appeal to families they might have had a better shot. Eating out get’s pricey with kids, it would be nice to get some good, but cheaper restaurant options.

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a.bidge

Venturo seems to be doing fine, as does Salt and Fat. Upscale works fine when done right. The neighborhood is already full of cheap eateries for those on a budget. I think the problem with this place was that its location wasn’t great, and its prices were upscale but the place/food wasn’t.

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crackerjack

I’ll argue that the location IS great. There aren’t any sit down restaurants on that part of skillman besides the Copper Kettle (which dies great business). But I do agree that the prices weren’t right.

OK

I don’t understand how he was able to hold his head up operating the bar while not paying his rent… month after month.
You have to be way behind in your rent (6 months or more) for a marshal to get involved.
How could you operate and not feel guilty. Most business people leave when they can’t pay the bills.

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Craic Dealer

Their food was barely edible but their Guinness’s were the best. A chapter closes for Sunnyside.

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Foodie

Murphy’s Bar – 62 Photos – Bars – Woodside – Sunnyside, NY … – Yelp
http://www.yelp.com › Nightlife › Bars
Rating: 4.5 – ‎85 reviews – ‎Price range: $$
10 Fresh Oyster just for me Murphy’s Bar – Sunnyside, NY, United States. Ship Ahoy. …… Mike recommended the lobster mac n cheese which is to die for!

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