Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Near arena site, O'Connor's expands, though AY-connected buyer was rebuffed

Here's Park Slope blogger Dan Myers has an interesting interview with Mike Maher, who bought O'Connor's Bar, on Fifth Avenue between Bergen and Dean, three years ago, and is expanding it with a beer garden, a backyard, and a kitchen.

And while it is not becoming an arena bar, as apparently some suitors sought, it can't not be influenced by the building just a few blocks north:
"When I was a candidate to purchase this bar from the O'Connor family, I was the only one who promised to keep the name, and the brand," said Maher. "Everybody else wanted to change the name. People connected to the Atlantic Yards offered them more money, but they sold it to me because I promised to keep it O'Connor's, and to not build condos on the roof. I think the O'Connor family would be happy with what we're doing here. They never considered the bar a 'dive,' and if you take a look around, we've always kept it spotless in here."

Maher claims that the rising Barclays Center didn't affect his decision to expand, but with construction well-underway just up the street, it's clear that there will be a huge demand for bars like the new O'Connor's as soon as the arena opens. It remains to be seen whether the old bar will remain the classic, regular hangout it's been for decades, or if the new additions will alter the bar's character irreparably. It appears to be in good hands, though.
(Emphasis in original)

Note that Freddy's Bar & Backroom was populated by staff and patrons who once moved from O'Connor's.

No comments:

Post a Comment