Monday, August 4, 2008

McReilly's gets booted in ironic twist of fate

"Long island City's cherished pub, McReilly's on Vernon Blvd, has just been given a one month vacate notice. McReilly's is one of the friendliest neighborhood spots with one of the best local kitchens. My understanding is that this is a complete surprise to McReilly's owners and contrary to the promises made by the building's new landlord. Ironically the pub's owner recently testified in favor of development saying that she thought it would increase her business. They have been ordered by the owner to vacate by August 31."

Kenny Greenberg
Neon Scenic and Environmental Art

34 comments:

kingofnycabbies said...

The specifics of the dispute aside, it should be obvious that a place called McReilly's could never exist on Vernon Boulevard in the new LIC, New York's 39th neighborhood to become home to hipster boutiques and fusion restaurants and faux dive bars in the shadow of glass condo towers.

Two years ago, my new roommate and I were taking the air on Vernon, and decided to stop in at a newly-opened Vernon boite (not normally my cup of tea, but I like to give the new guy a chance). Although there was but one couple at a table and one customer at the bar, who soon left, the bartender could barely be bothered to serve us, seeing as we were interrupting her conversation about upcoming modeling assignments. Now, I don't need my ass kissed, in fact prefer to be left alone, but a brand new place in a still obscure nabe? You could try a little. My sense of the foreignness of the place was cemented when a town car driver came in, asking for directions to Roosevelt Island (a whole 'nother story...) Naturally, I was the only one on the premises who could tell him to simply go straight and hang a left on the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Not exactly clandestine knowledge--and this was the day after the tram got stuck for hours, the place was kinda on everyone's lips.

At that point, I clearly saw the future of the new LIC, just like the rest of NYC under Mayor Mike: a place solely dedicated to the business and pleasure of total strangers, of people from somewhere else. Whether openly stumping for foreign investment, plumping for tourism, shilling for the real estate industry or generally concentrating on the high end by rezoning the whole metroplis to his liking, which necessitates the influx of workers from elsewhere on the low end to do all the work, we've all seen the result: Bloomberg's "Utopia," (which, of course, means "no place"), or as I like to call it, "Doomburg," 'cause this city is done.

That may seem like a lot to get from 20 minutes of indifferent service, yet it was but one example of thousands and thousands over the years (and as a cabbie, I get a city-wide view of this relentless transformation). The end result of the global positioning system beloved to fascist wonk billionaires like Hizzoner is that no one is from anywhere. We are all just economic entities, subject to the whims of the cynical, cyclical nature of the once-almighty dollar, and endlessly moving around in a vain effort to forestall our obsolescence. One thing is for sure: New York is no longer for anybody who's been here more than a nanosecond--unless we embrace the new way unconditionally, we're simply not welcome.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't believe you wasted so much time writing that drivel.

kingofnycabbies said...

Always love the anonymous sniping comments--the true hallmark of a standup guy.

If you've got a problem with what I wrote, why not respond to it, instead of shooting blanks from the sideline?

Course, I'm guessing it's not the only area you're shooting blanks in.

prince-o-the-pedlars (as in bike) said...

He's between fares with too time on his hands.

Due to the recession, more people are riding bikes or walking rather than taking cabs!

Anonymous said...

"Kingofnycabbies" is right though.

A homey "gin mill" doesn't stand a chance with the yuppies new upscale watering holes.

Pour yourself a stiff one, you
Mc Reilly's owner/turncoat....'cause you've just been stiffed out of your own hood by the over-developers!

You've gotten the shaft without lube
and it serves you right!

Anonymous said...

The rag that you write for wouldn't accept an op-ed piece that told the real truth like "kingofnycabbies" just did.
That's why there's "Queens Crap"!

Now who's the one that's shooting blanks here, fella?

Better learn to wipe that slime off your chin if you're gonna continue to suck up to your publisher!

Queens Crapper said...

"prince-o-the-pedlars (as in bike)"

Don't you mean "pedalers"? Pedlar is an Old English spelling for peddler.

kingofnycabbies said...

Speaking of bikes, and the newly-painted bike trail on Vernon, whose brother-in-law got the deal for the paint? Is it really necessary to spray paint a chevron every two feet on both sides of the road the length of the damn thing? And the intersection of Vernon and 50th Avenue has so many markings on it, it's like a DOT-inspired Fillmore light show--there's gonna be some interesting collisions there.

Anonymous said...

I am a life long western Queens resident and I am also pro-development (and pro bike lane) but this is a casualty and it is the only place in LIC that I am truly sad to see go.
The best burgers at the right price and an all around great bar.
I know you have to break a few eggs to make an omeltte but this one hurts.

Anonymous said...

I really DO think crappy is a human dictionary/encyclopedia. He/She seems to know EVERYTHING. Wow!
Keep up the good work crappy.

Anonymous said...

You're rhyte "Crapper".

My bad!
I was just reading Shakespeare and in an Olde English (not the brew) frame of mind!

Anonymous said...

I am a life long western Queens resident and I am also pro-development (and pro bike lane) but this is a casualty and it is the only place in LIC that I am truly sad to see go.
The best burgers at the right price and an all around great bar.
I know you have to break a few eggs to make an omeltte but this one hurts.

---------

Its just the start buddy, just the start. You soon will come over to our way of thinking.

But like the dim bulbs up at astorians.com, by the time your finally figure out whats what

1. you have moved

2. its too late

3. all the above.

Anonymous said...

At that point, I clearly saw the future of the new LIC, just like the rest of NYC under Mayor Mike: a place solely dedicated to the business and pleasure of total strangers,
------------

Exactly they have taken a vibrant community and converted into isolated towers for the rich.

Blank walls, no street activity, all built with the cheapest materials.

Cannot wait for absentee landlords to start packing the apartments with transient guest workers.

Can't you see Avalon Bay with a bed bug problems?

Anonymous said...

LIC, a neighborhood that has already died a thousand deaths, officially dies in one month when McReilly's closes its doors for the last time.
In addition to having the best burgers in the area, as another annonymous mentioned before me, this place has some dynamite fries as well, for a very reasonable working man's price. Enjoy them while you can.
One last thing; for the last few years, I have noticed the local laborers working on all the new builds in the area (alot of new buildings in the area for anyone here that doesn't know) have been going to McReilly's for their lunch. What tragic irony that the towers they helped create are all part of the process that wil bring this place down.

Anonymous said...

I hope a French bistro opens there. That would be nice.

Anonymous said...

But that might put Tournesol out of business! No, no, no!

Anonymous said...

LIQCity posted KingofNYCabbies' comment on his blog and the pro-development jackasses are upset about having to face the fact that they helped destroy something they moved to the neighborhood for in the first place. So they're now going to come here and post snarky comments to try to forget about it. It's already in full swing on the other site.

Anonymous said...

McReilly's is good, but no one move here because of it. That's just silly.

Queens Crapper said...

Great, now I have some kind of freak impersonating me. But it's a supportive freak at least.

Anonymous said...

This is horrible. Nice people own this establishment and this is not right. Whatever is put their in its place should be boycotted.

This is happening to too many mom and pop shops all over the city (including Manhattan). It is wrong and unfair.

Anonymous said...

"McReilly's is good, but no one move here because of it. That's just silly."

It was one of the many things that made up the neighborhoods that people chose to move into. Now it, like the Hackett building, powerhouse, etc. is history.

Anonymous said...

I meant there in its place. Typing too fast

Taxpayer said...

I've had lunch there dozens, perhaps more than a hundred times. The food is great, so is the service and the price.

Nothing better than their Irish Soda Bread.

As for the yuppies who, like locusts, destroy their landing spot, it was places like McReilly's that made the neighborhood unique and attractive.

But, yuppies cannot endure unique. They must herd. So, they demand the comfort of cookie cutter dates, movies, meals, homes, jobs and neighborhoods.

Yuppies are validated not by any inner compass, but only by approval from other cookie cutter yuppies.

No imagination, no humor, no intellect, no courage.

Yuppies walk around in their uniforms, freaking out whenever someone fails to conform.

Sad sacks, all. Destructively self absorbed. Just skinloads of humorless rabbits.

Becca said...

As a 13 year resident of LIC I am truly saddened to hear that McReilly's will no longer be in business. Before all the towers and fancy restaurants there was McReilly's. It was the mainstay of the neighborhood. You could go and have a beer, eat and hang out with your neighbors and anyone else who wandered in. They even had bands that played there in the late 90's. almost all of the bartenders were females except for Thomas. Every time my parents came to visit, my dad had to go to McReilly's to have a Guiness and a burger. The history and character of the neighborhood is quickly being erased. Soon this neighborhood will be just as bland and boring as Manhattan has become with nothing but fancy restaurants and chain stores. just like everywhere else. BORING!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You could be lucky if this is Manhattan.

Queens West has a ominous number of absentee landlords - speculators in real estate pure and simple.

Lets see what they start to move in.

The neighbhorhood is a joke, not a real place, but a flawed fantasy for the clueless.

Anonymous said...

This place was nothing special. If the people who live there want an Irish pub with good, cheap burgers, another one will open.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said, "If the people who live there want an Irish pub with good, cheap burgers, another one will open." Classic modern throw away attitude. Can't wait till they take away your WII games and you start to cry.

Anonymous said...

This place was nothing special. If the people who live there want an Irish pub with good, cheap burgers, another one will open.

Sure, just like they replaced Niedersteins with Arbies

CntrySigns said...

What a shame. I used to work across the street from there and the place was great. I hope they find a place close to move to. Maybe an even bigger and better place. :)

Anonymous said...

I hope a French bistro opens there. That would be nice.
--------
ha! that wouldn't surprise me one bit, cause y'know...there are hardly enough in the area. this is just one more reason i'm glad i left LIC. still sad to hear about it though.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think the Manhattan "swells" are going to venture over to LIC for a French meal when they have far superior bistros on their own "Golden Isle"?

You just can't afford the price of real estate yourself,"yupster" old pal, and covet to grab a taste of haute cuisine locally.

Save your pennies and take the subway for a real Zagat four star gourmet dining experience.

And, pray tell, what Cordon Bleu chef in his right mind is going to cross the river to cook for a transient LIC transplant from Nebraska...h-m-m-m
mon ami ?

Erik Baard said...

As a non-drinking vegan, I went there for the diet cokes, company, and wi-fi to do my community work and writing, until the manager (unique among LIC establishments) told me I couldn't anymore. If they had SOMETHING vegan on the menu, I would have ordered - promise! :)

Forgive me if I am hoping (no doubt vainly) for a cheap falafel place to follow.

Anonymous said...

Erik goes there to dream about which developer's logo he'll paint on his kayak next.

Anonymous said...

Eric, who adds a green face to the developers.