When George Gibbons was killed on his way home from his bar, Maspeth not only lost a beloved friend, but also a popular pub.
Nearly five months after the fatal accident that took his life, Gibbons’ Home reopened its doors at the end of February.
“The reopening was a huge success. I think that the time we were closed made not only our family, but also our regular patrons and friends, realize what a great place Georgie left us with that had to be continued,” said Bernadette Gibbons, George’s sister.
Gibbons was killed heading home from work on the morning of October 15 when the livery cab he was traveling in was struck by a Chrysler Sebring, allegedly driven by Peter Rodriguez, traveling the wrong way on the eastbound side of the Long Island Expressway service road at 58th Road.
The community and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley rallied to find “Justice for George,” plastering wanted posters offering a $10,000 reward throughout Queens.
Two days after a rally in Maspeth, Rodriguez was apprehended in Connecticut.
“The community has gone above and beyond for our family in more ways than one,” Bernadette said. “They have been so supportive to our place of business as well as to our family both emotionally and also physically at each court hearing.”
Rodriguez has been charged with a series of crimes, the most serious of which is manslaughter in the second degree.
The help in healing that reopening the bar provides is not without its pitfalls.
“The grand reopening of course carried with it a great deal of emotions, but at the end of the day our family was so thrilled to be back and to see all the familiar faces that we had missed for the time that we were closed,” Bernadette said. “Losing Georgie was horrific enough for our family and we are so so so so lucky to be left with a part of him because I truly believe he is still there with us each night.”
The whole family has lent a hand in running the business; George had five brothers and sisters who have tended to the bar.
“We are looking forward to the coming days, weeks, months and years at the Gibbons’ Home and to creating one million more memories with the fabulous community.”