Oct. 15, 2012 By Bill Parry
A big crowd turned out for the Skillman Avenue pub crawl on Saturday.
The event was the third Oktoberfest held by an array of Skillman Ave. bars and restaurants located between 46th and 51st Street. The participating bars and restaurants included: The Dog and Duck, Claret Wine Bar, Flynn’s Garden Inn, Quaint Bistro, Murphy’s Bar, Cafe Marlene, The Brogue, Aubergine Café and the Copper Kettle.
Justin Costello, a co-owner of Claret, was thrilled that over 300 people participated, doubling last year’s total. The first two Oktoberfests were deemed a great success at the time, but this one was viewed as the best yet.
Padraig Connelly, the owner of The Dog and Duck, said that “it’s over and beyond what we expected.”
Registration for the event took place between 3 pm and 5pm at the Dog and Duck. Attendees were required to donate canned food or give five dollars to a local food pantry in order to receive a wristband. The wristband was good for half price pints of select beers well into the evening.
Connelly said that the Dog and Duck had a very busy afternoon since it was the starting point of the event. Claret Wine Bar was crowded from the start, while at Flynn’s Garden Inn it got so crowded after 5pm that Paul Flynn, the owner, needed a friend’s help behind the bar. “It will only get busier with the Yankees playing tonight,” Flynn said at the time, in between pours.
Hazel Coombes, the owner of The Brogue, was expecting a very big night. “We have this [the pub crawl], and an ongoing art show of Chris Demarecaux’ photography,” she said. “There’s also the Yankees game and we have karaoke as well.”
There was plenty of food on Skillman Avenue. The oyster specials were moving at Murphy’s Bar. The Copper Kettle had a pig roast in the beer garden—and was selling pork sandwiches. The sandwiches were selling so fast that the two 30 pound pigs were devoured in just over an hour.
Aubergine Cafe had a special Oktoberfest menu in the afternoon. “We had a big crowd earlier,” said owner Gary O’Neill, “The brats were really popular.”
“It was good to see some new faces in the restaurant, that’s what it’s all about, right?” said Tim Chen, the owner of Quaint. One new face was Adrian Bordoni, the executive director of Woodside on the Move. “I had never been to [Quaint] before; nice place and a great burger.”
The food donations alone were worth the effort: well over a dozen large boxes full of canned goods.
“We’ll get that over to Father Brian [Dowd] at Queen of Angels on Sunday,” said Costello, from Claret.
Connelly summed up the event best: “A little charity work and a few beers with friends. What a great way to spend a Saturday.”