Tuesday, May 3, 2011

O'Neill's Restaurant destroyed by fire

From the Times Ledger:

The 83-year legacy of a Maspeth bar and restaurant ended in flames Monday morning, when O’Neill’s was was completely gutted by a five-alarm fire.

Hundreds of residents stood in the street and watched the neighborhood institution burn to the ground throughout the night.

“Hundreds of people were out,” said George O’Neill, the owner of the bar. “And do you know what they were doing? They were crying.”

The blaze began at around 11:30 p.m. and originated in the basement kitchen, according to firefighters at the scene

Employees of the restaurant said that after an uncontrollable grease fire, several cooks ran up the stairs amid smoke and told yelled for everyone to get out.

The roughly 20 people patronizing and working at the bar were all evacuated by the time firefighters arrived at the scene.

Two girls who lived next door had to flee their house and the FDNY had to evacuate the apartment building next door, according to Deputy Chief Mark Cuccurullo of the FDNY.


-Joe said...

Oh No !
What a bummer (: :( this is a huge loss. I recently had wings and beer there

Anonymous said...

The reason these grease fires occur is as follows: They don't PROPERLY clean the fucking HOOD.

Law requires exhaust hood, ducts and fans to be cleaned only quarterly...add the fact that many places pay...no let's call it what it is BRIBE the cleaning co. to sign and then only do the full cleaning two-three times/year.

If you have ever been in a working kitchen that is maintained according to law, you'll know how inadequate these regulations are.. then add the bribery factor, some inexperienced workers, and you have disaster.

Depending on menu it is often necessary to clean the hood dome and louvers -daily-.

This, and the vermin problem are why restaurants are often unwelcome in buildings.

Joe said...

I saw a Grease fire in an pub once. It was like a Saturn rocket booster. When that oil gets hot enough it burns more violent then gasoline. The thermostat in the 30 year old oil fryer failed and nobody was tending the kitchen. This is the case with many pubs at night. They leave a fryer on for simple wings, chicken fingers and things for a waitress or bartender and send the experienced cooks home to save money.
I have yet to hear ANY bar or restaurant owner say he or she made enough money or had a good night. They are all cheap, crying poverty and paying out $$ to workers and bands.
---And YES lots of payola and hiring of illegal labor goes on

Anonymous said...

sad,sad,sad,...i had some good times there in my youth,when it was named "the plateau".

neil o'neil was an excellent guard on the N.Y.U. basketball team,when they were a top national power.

Anonymous said...

This is very sad to lose such a local landmark that gives the neighborhood a sense of place!

But isn't there supposed to be an automatic fire extinguishing (I think it's called Halon?) system required to be in place along the stoves exhaust hoods?

You pull on a ring (far away from the area) and an immediate shower of foam smothers the fire.

Something isn't quite right here.

Now watch Tommy Huang (or son) offer to buy the site.

Anonymous said...

Employees of the restaurant said that after an uncontrollable grease fire several COOKS ran up the stairs amid smoke and told yelled for everyone to get out.

Hahahahah the amigos couldn't properly handle the kitchen. Now this leprechaun factory is gone forever.

Tommy said...

Now watch Tommy Huang (or son) offer to buy the site.

Smoked octopus taste better than live octopus. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Really sucks!!! just ate there like 2 weeks ago. LOVED their wings, loved the atmosphere. sorry to see it go.... :(

LibertyBoyNYC said...

Yeah this was a real community institution attended by all the best people. What will our fair Maspeth plateau be without our community OTB fallout shelter, which for generations endowed us the little people with:
1) public drinking, drugging, and urination
2) property damage, empties littering the sidewalks of the surrounding neighborhood - excellent for teaching your toddler evasion skills
3) Valet "in front of someone else's house" parking including an a-hole attendant in sunglasses giving respectable citizens dirty looks. A real value.
4) Blocking traffic on
5) Noise, Noise, and more Noise, to all hours of the night and attracting careless non-residents to come and be drunk and sit in your cars thumping bass and lighting blunts
6) A general attitude of entitlement, inapproachability, and above-the-law-ness
7) Implications of fostering corruption
8) Attracting gangs of youths on Monday nights for reputed minor-drinking.

I don't know, the only ones crying at the fire were ones who didn't bring their s'mores. As for me, I just checked Zillow.com and my property value shot up +$10,000.

LibertyBoyNYC said...

Sorry, I forgot about the vomit on the sidewalks. Great for feeding community cats and I pilot the stroller about the neighborhood sidewalks with great enthusiasm.

I fear that all the harley crapcycles will have to be loudly driven to the stop and shop when their classy drivers need their Perdue BBQ-style wings.

Rumor has it that the O'Neill-ies were trying to pin the blame on a busted frig compressor in the basement of the adjacent Platho (BTW, those were the only tears I saw - the Platho owners).

Anonymous said...

Not only that, but when 311 calls were made about the above, bar employees would visit your house and tell you next time to talk to them directly. No, they weren't being protected by the cops...

LibertyBoyNYC said...


7) Implications of fostering corruption

should be:

7) fostering corruption

Anyone else hear about what was going on in the basement? How they forced out the dry cleaner and annexed his space?

Anonymous said...

i live on 63rd st and have dealt with all that libertyboy has stated along with a few years ago a group after o'neills closed all drunk went down 63rd st and vandalized 23 cars with a total damage value of 108k i know my lexus was 6700 to repair. They park there car in fron of my driveway and in the rear of my house walk over speak with the lady in the front office only to be told thats the way it is in the area. hope they never re open all they did was crap all over the neighborhood. maybe thats why georges daughter family the pyles moved out of the area cause they could no deal with the problems that thay created in the neighborhood. george oneill is no longer the only he is hired as a greeter only. the only thing that the owners of o'neills respect is a buck even if it means destroying the way of life around the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance to a BAD neighbor!!!

Chris said...

I spent the latter part of my adolescent years there. Very sad, an end to a legacy

Anonymous said...

Mr. O'Neill will collect his insurance money and then sell the property to the highest bidder for an additional monetary bonanza. He'll retire to a low income state and live like a king. How many houses can a developer fit into that property?

Anonymous said...

The old O'Neill's was the best, and I spent my youth - the early 80's having a blast with some great friends there. Through the years it's gotten TOO big. I don't know why they didn't leave the successful (albeit small) O'Neill's alone. They could've bought another restaurant/bar and expanded that way. It would have been more respectful to their neighbors/patrons. That being said, it's a sad day for the old plateau.

Anonymous said...

Business must have been bad when OTB closed. The back restaurant was devoted to horse racing.

Anonymous said...

O.Neill's don't own the place anymore they just front. Just like they play the connected mobsters at night and good citizens by day. Irish assholes playing gangsters, huge embarassment to us real Americian-Irish from Maspeth.

A horrible neighbor, they destroyed our neighborhood,then the bar, now they turned it into a hip hop gansta joint and burn it down for $$$. Lost the OTB, in the hole, the food sucked and was overpriced. Hated by all who live here good ridence to a scumbag operation and thier wanna be coustomers.FDNY pumped water on it for two days to wash away the accelerant for a fellow FD.

What about thier nasty wetback bar back who washed down the sidewalks with the hydrant and lived in the basement? Word has it he was put up at the Comfort inn on Maurice that night by big George so he wouldn't have to sleep in the basement! Life long dirtbag with his white cook's pants shows up the next day to console George all cleaned up with a new jacket and slacks. Did someone say arson? Now the neighberhood will get screwed with the borded up mess. Real nice neigh'boors'. SCUMBAGS.

Maspeth Irish said...

Irish white trash from Long Beach do not make a dump a Maspeth instition. The give us a bad name and then sell out. They brought trash into our neighborhood, the only ass kisses crying for the O'Neill/ Pyle clans are the scum that didn't live here.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

GOOD RIDDANCE!!! Now maybe we can find parking. No more having to deal with all the illegal parking, underage drunken punks, having to look at discarted used condoms, having to walk over/around broken beer bottles, having to listen to all the loud noise that came out of that shithole. The food was horrible and over priced. This rathole should have been padlocked long ago. Geroge, do all your neighbors a favor please DO NOT rebuild. Take your gambling and the rest of your circus some where else. Thanx.

Anonymous said...

george oneill has not owned the place for a while it is owned by his daugher who married into the pyle family . business was bad i guess he stiffed the man that owned the catering hall that oneills put in next to the deli years ago the attitude they had in business was stiff all there vendors y they are true scum

Anonymous said...

Was a matter of time before the place got hit by Irish lightning. Everyone in there has been complaining that business was way down since the departure of OTB.
Overcharges on credit cards and prices gone up. Hmmm damn that Irish lightning.

Anonymous said...

The obvious answer here is raking in the insurance money from all the money he had been losing these last months...

Anonymous said...

"Joe said...
I saw a Grease fire in an pub once. It was like a Saturn rocket booster."

I was visiting Jersey City (is that considered a visit?) A friend took me past a totaled storefront and told me what happened.

There was a flashover and it caught the grease in the hood. Bad enough, but the worker tried to put it out by throwing a Wok foll of oil on it.

Most immigrants are -very- good workers, but many have little education and some seem to lack common sense. As an employer you MUST train and supervise people...And use judgment as to the mental capabilities of hires.