Jim Guinan, the Irish owner and founder of a famous New York bar that was the subject of a memoir by a writer from the Wall Street Journal, has died.

The 83 year-old died from heart failure in a Tampa, Florida hospital, his family said.

Guinan moved to the U.S. with his wife and four children in 1957, and later founded Guinan's Country Store and Pub in Garrison, a town off the Hudson River, in update New York.

When Wall Street Journalist writer Gwendolyn Bounds moved to the town after Sept. 11th, she wrote about the pub in a book "Little Chapel on the River."

Every month, Guinan’s would host an Irish music night, held the Thursday after a full moon.

Bounds moved to Garrison from Manhattan, after Sept. 11th – her home was right next to the rubble of the World Trade Center.

She wrote how she came to become close friends with the Guinans, occasionally working a few shifts at the bar, and said that the family taught her what family life should all be about – Guinan’s two children, John and Margaret both have families and jobs, but both spent a lot of time helping their Dad run the family business. Guinan’s wife, Peg, died in 1988.

In the preface to her book, Bounds wrote, “This is the story of a place, the kind of joint you don’t find around much anymore, a spot where people wander in once and return for a lifetime.”

“For most of its days, the place billed itself as a country store, but its true heart was the adjacent pub. There was a rusty horseshoe posted above one door and a gold shamrock embedded, slightly off center, in the fireplace hearth. The floor slanted toward the river, and the men returned to the same seats every Friday.

“Most people called it Guinan’s (sounds like Guy-nans) after the Irish owner, Jim Guinan. Some called it the bar. One regular patron christened it his ‘riverside chapel,’ which seemed to me to fit best because for most of these guys, coming to Guinan’s was something of a religion, with its own customs, community and rites of passage.”

His family has said that a funeral and mass will be held for Guinan on April 15 at Our Lady of Loretto in Cold Spring, N.Y.

 
 
 
 
 

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