Iggy Hughes, a native of Coalisland, Co. Tyrone who was the popular owner of a self-named bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, passed away suddenly last week of a massive heart attack. He was 52 years old.
The news was reported by DNA Info on Tuesday. He is survived by his wife Caroline and three children.
DNA Info spoke to friends of Hughes who remembered him as a welcoming presence.
"If you met Iggy, you loved Iggy," said Hughes' close friend Michael Rosenblatt. "Yes, he made everybody who walked into his bar leave as a friend, but he grew into a wonderful, doting father of three, who would get up in the morning to live for his wife and his family."
Hughes was well known in the Irish bar scene in New York. His Iggy’s New York is located on Second Avenue and 76th Street and has been a fixture on the Upper East Side since he took it over 26 years ago. It had gone through a series of name changes, and is now a popular karaoke bar.
Hughes’ manager, Adrice Hynes, told DNA Info that his loss is profound.
"He always had a hello for the entire world," she said. "He was the king of industry, our leader, our boss, a father, a husband. There was nothing you could ask that he wouldn't do if he could. We lost a man who can never, ever be equaled."
Hughes emigrated from Ireland when he was 18. He was involved in a number of other Irish businesses on the East Side, including the old Fleming’s on East 86th Street.
His funeral service took place in Westhampton on Wednesday.