A farewell to O’Neill’s, home to trad sessions in Midtown Manhattan

O'Neill's on 3rd Avenue in NYC
O'Neill's on 3rd Avenue in NYC

Speaking of New York institutions and pub sessions, I have to give a special shout out to O’Neill’s Irish Bar on Third Avenue which has been hosting Irish trad sessions since 1997 when owner Ciaran Staunton invited fiddler Brian Conway to start a Saturday night session. 

Eventually a Sunday night session run by guitarist and singer Johnny Cuomo was added on and the popular Midtown Manhattan hostelry was a fixture for the local and visiting trad music aficionados
Sessions that run that long are no flash in the pan and usually reflect a rare commitment from the publican.

This past weekend O’Neill’s closed its doors with great fanfare from the many denizens who passed through over the years, so we thank Staunton and his staff for many years of great service to the Irish trad community and wish him well in his future endeavors and at Molly Blooms in Sunnyside near his Queens home. 

Word was spreading already that the new owners will invite back those sessioneers when the doors re-open in October after a reorganization of the premises, and we hope that transpires.

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