May 7, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
The Irish Cottage, a popular Irish pub and restaurant that has operated in Forest Hills since 1960, has closed due to the COVID-19 economic shutdown.
The family-run traditional Irish bar, located at 108-07 72nd Ave., was run by the McNulty family and was a staple for locals and members of the Irish American community. It served up Irish food and beer and hosted weekly music sessions.
“It’s very sad, we were one of the oldest family-run Irish bars in Queens,” said Danny McNulty, the son of the late owner Kathleen McNulty, who died last month.
McNulty said that the bar was no longer economically viable. He said that since the March 17 shut down revenue had shrunk significantly–and that the take-out orders they were providing were not enough to sustain them.
McNulty also said that the outlook was bleak since the city is likely to impose occupancy limits when bars and restaurants are permitted to reopen.
He said the future for many family-run bars and restaurants does not look good. Many will close due to lost revenue and upcoming restrictions.
“There will be no more mom-and-pops after this,” he said.
The family employed seven staff members who are now out of work as a result of the closure.
“Our longest serving staff member has been with us for 30 years,” he said.
The family had hoped to get help from the federal government to keep them in business.
“We applied for the federal bailout but we didn’t get it so it’s just not possible to keep it going,” McNulty said.
The closure is the second big blow for the family in a number of weeks.
McNulty’s mother passed away last month.
Kathleen, 80, an Irish immigrant, was struck by COVID-19 while she was recuperating from a hip injury at a care center in Long Island. She passed away on April 3 stemming from complications pertaining to the virus.
McNulty said his mother planned to come back to the bar after she recovered from her injury.
The bar was an Irish establishment but McNulty said his mother embraced people of all backgrounds.
“She made the place into a melting pot for all kinds of people to meet,” he said.
“Come as a stranger, leave as a friend,’ she would say.'”
I’m shocked and saddened by Kathleen’s passing. I’d met her a few times, and she always anticipated what I wanted to order, which was the Atlantic Donegal salmon, my favourite. She knew that I liked to fly fish for salmon on the river Owenea in County Donegal. I’m going to always miss her integrity and hospitality.
My sincere condolences for the loss of your beloved mother and your wonderful pub. Your family’s story on MSNBC moved me, greatly. Heed the lessons of your courageous immigrant parents and remain hopeful for brighter days.
Thank you for all the great memories. We will miss your wings & burgers. R.I.P. & God bless!
It’s extremely sad, my heart goes out to everybody who’s affected by this calamity. Unfortunately, it’s going to happen to so many of these small businesses that are essential part of our communities. Wish all of you strength and health.
This wonderful pub was the heart of the community.
I do hope the family will try to keep it open.
I didn’t realize they were offering take-out.
We try to support our restaurants, and order take-out
3 or 4 times weekly.
So sorry to hear this. Condolences to family and friends. As an Irish immigrant myself it’s sad to hear that these families have to close up. I will keep you all in my prayers. 🙏☘️
Condolences for the loss of your Mom.
We loved Irish Cottage and the Matriarch…! Rest in peace! Thank you for years of love and acceptance!
My heart goes out to the family on their loss. Maybe once things get back to some normalcy they can open up a smaller place? I hope everybody there stays safe and stays well.
Drank in there many times and met Kathleen on a few occasions, a wonderful person RIP.
They asked for Federal help. Since they are a mom and pop shop and not a multi-billion business, the government told them to drop dead. We will miss the place, it was like family.
My heart breaks for the loss of Kathleen McNulty and the shuttering of the Cottage. This a terrible loss for the McNulty family and all of Forest Hills. Prayers to all the family and staff of the Cottage.
So very sorry for your loss of your mother i am also very sorry that the irish cottage will not reopen i had a lot of fun there over the years
This government doesn’t care about the working people or the small business community… I also tried for the ppp lian never heard back … I’m sorry Irish Cottage didn’t get one either … seems only big business political cronies get the funds …
MY SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO THE ENTIRE MCNULTY FAMILY. I WAS A PATRON OF THE IRISH COTTAGE WHEN I LIVED IN FOREST HILLS AND ALWAYS HAD A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE THERE. I WOULD SOMETIMES VISIT AGAIN WHENEVER I WAS IN FOREST HILLS. I AM OF IRISH AND INDIAN DECENT. MY FATHER BEING IRISH. I AM TRULY SADDENED OF THE DEATH OF THE QUEEN IF THE IRISH COTTAGE AND THE CLOSING OF TBE RESTAURANT. TAKE COMFORT KNOWING SHE IS AT PEACE NOW AND THAT THE JEWEL OF FOREST HILLS DID NOT CLOSE BEFORE HER EYES. RIP### YOU WERE. VERY LOVED
I will really miss this family bar, it has served for so many years and has made so many memories for the patrons who went there. It a real shame after all these years it is being forced to close,
We will miss you. You were always a place to get a good food and a warm environment.
Very sad. The small businesses are fading fast. Not only do they provide jobs to our neighborhoods, what about the heart and soul that they bring? The character? The spirit? What will remain once this COVID-19 Crisis is over? We need to take action to save our small businesses! Contact your representatives and tell them to support legislation by New York’s Small Business Congress to help save these small businesses!
So sorry for your loss.
Sad to see this lots of great memories there God bless .
Me and mine have eaten inside the Cottage and in the seating outside, whether for a dinner or at the bar for a burger and a beer. I always felt at home there; I’m we’re sorry to see it go.
Family owned Irish ☘️ Pubs are and have been for many years an important part of the fabric of New York. So sorry that this one is a victim of the corona Virus !! I don’t want to see the Happy Times sure to be had in an Irish Pub to ever end!
So sorry, thank you for all your years of dedication to the people. God blessyou