By Jeremy Walsh
A friendly piece of Long Island City is about to fade into sepia-toned memory.
McReilly's Pub, 46-42 Vernon Blvd., was given a 30-day vacate premises notice by its landlord July 31.
“It was a surprise,” said Noreen O'Reilly, who owns the bar with her husband, Padraic. “We were trying to secure a lease, and that's when it exploded.”
The bar has to be out by Aug. 31, she said.
Inside, the walls are decorated with Irish road signs and sayings. Small Christmas lights hang from the slatted board ceiling, casting a gentle glow on the worn wooden floors.
On one recent Tuesday afternoon, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's “Our House” played softly on the stereo as steamfitters, firefighters, film crew members and white-collar workers enjoyed their lunches.
This is a pub where you can get a cheeseburger the size of your head for $6 made by a line cook who has been there since it opened.
John Oates, a film technician who works in Long Island City, has been coming to McReilly's for lunch for 20 years.
“It's a great place to have lunch,” he said. “It's a very warm, open place. They always make you feel welcome.”
Another patron in a business suit who asked not to be identified praised the food and the company.
“It's like the series 'Cheers,' where everybody knows your name,” he said. “They make you feel like somebody.”
O'Reilly said she and her husband were friendly with their first landlord. The building was owned by Roseanne Keogh until November 2005, city Finance Department records show. At that point, the building was sold to Thomas Mangiliano for $575,000, according to the real estate Web site nextag.com.
O'Reilly said Keogh had said she would sell the building to them and that they were surprised to learn of the sale to Mangiliano.
“We're just exhausted with this landlord,” O'Reilly said, noting they have been on a month-to-month basis with Mangiliano. “He's really pushed our buttons. We tried to comply with everything he threw at us.”
A telephone number listed for Mangiliano was answered by a fax machine.
O'Reilly said she was touched that members of the community were interested in helping the bar, but feared it might be too late.
“It's not that simple just to pick up and go somewhere else,” she said, noting she and her husband have not thought about what they will do come September. “It's 20 years of memories of the people that came in here, that's what I'm really going to miss.”
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.