May 17, 2013 By Christian Murray
The owner of a popular Sunnyside pub is expanding his bar/restaurant business by opening a gastropub in the heart of Long Island City.
Pat Burke, 39, who co-owns the Courtyard Ale House on Queens Blvd, is in the midst of establishing an up-market pub at 47-10 Vernon Blvd in Hunters Point. The pub, to be called Woodbines, will represent Burke’s fourth establishment in New York City.
Burke, who is from County Cork, bought the Courtyard 14 years ago.
Four years ago, Burke then ventured into Manhattan and opened an establishment on 9th Avenue, called the Brickyard Gastropub. Last year, he moved into Williamsburg and converted an old building into a pub, calling it the Kent Ale House.
If all goes to plan, Woodbines will be open by August.
Burke has named his Long Island City pub after the cigarettes his grandfather smoked in Ireland.
“We want a bit of an older-styled place,” Burke said, adding that the interior would feature “distressed wood” to create a comfortable atmosphere. He said the exterior of the pub would be changed to reflect that feel too.
He said Woodbines would offer 16 craft beers and a high-end bar menu.
But Burke’s Long Island City business will be under constant surveillance by its neighbors—since it adjoins a residential area.
The bar/restaurant owners before Burke—who ran Lounge 47– had a torrid time with some of their outspoken neighbors.
The previous owners were denied the use of their backyard space after a rash of complaints—including video footage.
Burke told Community Board 2 last week that he would not use the backyard space and agreed to clip back his weeknight hours from 4 am to 2am.
Furthermore, he told the community board that he has spent $28,000 on soundproofing the premises, which he was not required to do.
Nevertheless, Burke is excited to be venturing into Long Island City. “Looking at the neighborhood and all the new residents…it’s a great opportunity.”