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Shelley’s, the Woodside Bar That Closed in April After 70 Years, is Coming Back


Sept. 15, 2015 By Christian Murray

Shelley’s, a long-time Woodside bar that suddenly closed in April, is likely to reopen in coming months by its former owners.

Deborah Strack Cregan, who owned the 58-15 Woodside Ave. establishment with her husband from 1986 through 1999, plans to bring the old bar back to its heyday when it was known for being more of a family place where people would go and have celebrations.

Cregan, who also owns the building, said that she and her husband stepped away from the business in 1999 to focus on raising a family. They have since leased the space to various bar owners.

“Unfortunately, [the bar] has not been taken care of in the past few years,” Cregan said. She said she had to get rid of a tenant for non-payment of bills.

“I would like to reopen it and bring it back to the reputation it once had,” she said. She is likely to keep Shelley’s as the bar’s name.

The bar was established shortly after WWII by Mrs. Shelley, according to Cregan. It was then purchased by Ed Fowley, a community organizer, who owned it from 1965 to 1986.

The bar is unlikely to undergo any major revamp, Cregan said.

The establishment will have about 40 seats, plus 14 stools at the bar.

She has no plans to use the outdoor space.

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skills man

Glad its coming back esp with some many classics closing. good luck to Shelleys and the new Molly Blooms. Agree though that Maggie Maes and Kettle are working to keep up with the changing tastes of the area. Same for the brogue – bunch of new taps and TVs.

king henrik

Black and white pudding you don’t know What your talking about. You can get a liquor license. First,it’s grandfathered in, second, technically the church is on roosevelt, the bar is on Woodside ave,it’s not the same street. Its also cant be 200 feet from a house of worship,not 500. I work for the city, I’m 1000% right on this. How do you think the last owner got a license. You can’t use the previous owners license, it has to be surrendered. You have to apply for a new license which can take a year. That’s a year at 7000 a month with no income waiting to open. You can use the previous owners license if they let you but they would have to be idiots to do that,they become responsible for all your fines,taxes,ect. You don’t know much about bars

king henrik

This lady should charge herself the rent she was charging the last owners. She wouldn’t last 3 months with her historical opinion on how the bar should be run,bring back the glory days ect. The glory days are gone along with the 10 cent tap, and the $300 rent. The place needs a overhaul,and a fresh ideal that’s appealing and makes customers want to spend their time and money in there. She has no rent, and she doesn’t want to spend to fix HER place up. Do yourself a favor and get someone to manage for you who has some ideas. Your out of touch. And to blame the last owners for letting the place go to sh!t, how could the afford to with that rent. Then the place was being sold for 100 ,plus the $7gs a month in rent. Greedy. That place has been a mess for the last 20 yrs. And you blame the last owner. Unreal


The place was a dump before and it will be an even bigger dump now. Times change ad if you want to survive then a business should change. the days of the old and stale bars are over.

John Doe

“The bar is unlikely to undergo any major revamp, Cregan said.
She has no plans to use the outdoor space.”

wait, what??? that’s precisely what is needed, some modern changes. what a loser, this bar will fail again. Places like the Kettle and Maggie Maes are surviving and thriving because they have embraced change and spruced up their bars, whatever some people should just not be small business owner.s

Bowery Bum

Shelly’s became a bar for kids since 2000.
Im pretty sure Ive seen 16 year olds bartending there a few times. And the asians havent only overrun ogs, theyre taking over woodside.
Nothing wrong with that, just we need some more good old irish american babars.

Black or white pudding

How about telling the truth abouth how the owners can’t get a tenant because the liquor license isn’t transferable and any new tenant won’t be able to get a license due to the church across the street and it’s less than 500 feet per the state liquor authority requirement.

Sean Ogre

As a fan of bars it pains me to say; Couple months of taxes and other costs mounting, with no dollars coming in, will inevitably lead to a change in ones thinking…

Former Ogre Myself

Very clever name. However I haven’t been back to ogs since the place was completely overrun with Nepalese. The group that’s there now is very territorial and it’s uncomfortable being Irish American in that bar now. What a shame.

Sean Ogre

TY Former Ogre. I find that the place turns over every three hours. To me it’s still a mixed bag, but I guess that’s based on the times I attend. Having said, the girls pour fast and aren’t bad to look at 🙂 hence the name.


Such an underwhelming development on a bar that never seemed very welcoming to me. Wish there would have been some more thought put into trying to do something new and inviting.

I heard that the key money they were asking for was quite high, hence no real interest from other prospective bar owners.

One thing is for sure. It certainly helps when you own the building. You can run the bar however you want without much concern paying a high rent bill, because you know, the rent is always too damn high.


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