Tag Archives: Farrell’s


It’s a Wednesday night. Billy and Jimmy are hanging out in Farrell’s. Both guys just got off work. Billy’s an ironworker working on a building on Madison and forty-third over in midtown.  Jimmy’s a cop who works at the 7th Precinct in the lower east side. It’s a little after six.

“You see 30 for 30 last night on ESPN?” Jimmy asks Billy as he takes a sip from his glass of beer.

“Nah, it came on too late, I gotta get up at four in the mornin’,” Billy answers as he looks up at the TV which is showing highlights from game two of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.

“You missed a good one,” Jimmy muttered.

Billy takes a sip of his beer.

“They’ll show it again, ESPN is always showing those shows over and over,” Billy counters.

Farrell's Indoor Sign

Both men visit Farrell’s every night after work to get together, talk sports and talk about life.

“Knicks looked good last night,” Billy mentions as he gulps down the rest of his beer.

“Duffer, gimme another,” Billy shouts.

Duffer is behind the stick tonight, he’s been working at Farrell’s for over 30 years. He’s a local guy and it must be noted, one of the better guys in the neighborhood. He’s also a retired fireman.

“Not sure how the triangle offense is gonna work,” Jimmy added.

“Well, if Carmelo buys-in to the team philosophy, anything is possible” Billy offered. “Not to mention he has to play defense and stop being a ball hog.”

The Knicks have not won a championship in 41 years. They have a new coach, a new offense and Phil Jackson is back at thirty-third and seventh running the show.

“How’s your kid like her new school?” Jimmy asks.

“She’s coping, but she’s bummed that Ford closed.”

Bishop Ford closed it’s doors this past June forcing many families to look for another school.

“It’s a shame, Ford was the place you went after you graduated from Holy Name,” Jimmy says as Duffer places another glass of beer in front of him and pulls some money off the bar.

“Yeah, that sucks,” Billy says. “But it doesn’t matter to me, I went to Jay, and my daughter loves Saviour’s.”

Saint Saviour’s is an all-girls high school down on sixth street.  Many girls from the neighborhood go there.

The bar begins to fill up. Duffer is joined by another bartender, he’s new on the job, Duffer will be training him tonight.

“I miss the Knicks teams of the seventies,” Jimmy admitted.

“Yeah me too,” Billy agrees.

“They played the right way. Frazier, Bradley and Willis.” Jimmy added.

“Don’t forget their coach, Red Holzman,” Billy shouts. “HIT THE OPEN MAN and SEE THE BALL!”

Both men laugh and reach for their glasses and take a gulp of beer.

“Just like our coaches at Holy Name taught us,” Jimmy says as he lets out a burp.

“I miss the days of waking up on Saturday morning, running to the yard and playing three-on-three all day.” Billy says. “Kids don’t play in the yard anymore.”

Both men polish off another glass of beer.

“We’ll never see another team like the Knicks from nineteen seventy-three,” Jimmy says.

“No doubt about that,” says Billy. “And with that, I gotta get outta here Jimmy, my old lady wants to go down to Snooky’s and see some friends.”

Snooky’s is a bar-restaurant on seventh avenue.

“Don’t get into any fights with the seventh avenue boys,” Jimmy reminds his friend.

Billy grabs his money off the bar, throws a ten down and shouts, “YO DUFFER, GIMME A CONTAINER TO GO AND GIVE JIMMY A DRINK!”

Duffer heads to the stick, fills a container and swipes the ten off the bar.  Billy’s out the side door, headed down sixteenth street on his way home.

Jimmy looks up at the television. Glances at all the people in the bar and downs his glass of beer.

“Duffer, gimme a shot of Johnny Walker.”


The following dialogue is a work of fiction.

Friday night. Late September. Two teenagers hanging out on the stoop on Windsor Place. 

“Fuck Derek Jeter!” Johnny shouted.

“Whaddya mean, fuck Derek Jeter?” answered Billy.

Johnny wasn’t having any more of the non-stop coverage on the Yankees shortstop of the past 20 years.

“I’m so tired of all this bullshit with Jeter on TV!”

“Yeah well he’s one of the greatest Yankees of all-time,” Billy assured his friend.

Everything on TV was about Derek Jeter. The New York Post, New York Times, Newsday and the Daily News all had the Kalamazoo Kid on their covers this morning.


“I don’t care, and he’s not one of the best Yankees of all-time,” Johnny shot back.

Oh boy, that infamous comparison between ballplayers. You can just feel it coming. Remember Mickey Mantle, Willie Mayes and Duke Snider?

“Yeah he is,” Billy protested.

“Gimme a fuckin break Billy. Last night was bullshit. Any other manager would have walked Jeter with an open base.”

MLB Network had the game live. Bob Costas and Kim Kaat were on the call. If you were a diehard, or stuck at work, you listened to Suzy Waldman on the radio. Maybe not the radio part.

Derek Jeter had the game winning hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Yankees had a man on second. Some sports talk radio callers this morning wondered if Orioles manager Buck Showalter should have walked Jeter to set up a possible double play.

“Showalter was drunk!” Johnny babbled.

By now you could imagine, Johnny was a Mets fan who hated the Yankees. Billy was a Yankees fan and hated the Mets. But many Mets fans from the neighborhood respected Jeter.

“Look bro, it’s Babe first, Gehrig second, Mantle and then Joe D.” Billy added.

Johnny sits there waiting for Billy to say Derek Jeter is fifth, ready to jump all over him.

“And Jeter is the fifth best of all-time.”

“NO FUCKIN’ WAY!” Johnny shouted as an old lady walking across the street looked over at them.

“Whaddya lookin’ at, mind your own business lady!” Johnny screamed.

By now Billy was laughing his ass off.

“Leave the lady alone,” Billy barked. “That’s Joey’s grandmother.”

Johnny was pissed. Perturbed and steaming.

“I mean Billy, even Yankee fans are tired of all the coverage.”

“Here comes Scooter, let’s ask him,” Billy uttered.

“Fuck Scooter, he’s a Yankee fan. Whaddya think he’s gonna say?” Johnny stressed. “Plus he doesn’t even have cable.”

“He knows the history of the ballclub,” Billy reminded Johnny.

“Later for him, he’s like 90 years old!”

Scooter came walking by the boys on the stoop. He looked at them, stopped and started to talk.

“SHUT UP SCOOTER!” Johnny shouted. “I don’t wanna hear about Jeter, Yogi Berra or Mickey Rivers.”

The old man couldn’t get a word out so he continued on his way. Billy was laughing again.

“Look man, Jeter is good, I will give him that but this tribute shit is too much.”

Billy was a bit frustrated trying to get Johnny to understand what all the fuss is about.

“I got an idea. Let’s go up to Farrell’s, stand outside and ask every baseball fan that goes in and comes out,” Billy stressed.

Johnny stood up and spit the sidewalk.

“That sounds like a plan,” Johnny said as both boys made their way up to Farrell’s.

The patrons in Farrell’s were both Yankee and Mets fans. Same for football; you had Giants and Jets fans, split down the middle. The Knicks had way more fans than the Nets though. Matter of fact, many of the Nets fans were once Knicks fans but decided to switch over. With the Nets home arena on Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, it was convenient to root for the Nets.

The two teens stood outside the side door of Farrell’s on 16th street and waited for people.

“Yo, Frankie, is Derek Jeter one of the greatest Yankees ever?” Billy asked.

Frankie looked at Billy, then at Johnny.

“Of course he is.”

“Where would you rank him?”

“Top 10, maybe top 5?” Frankie answered as he spit on the curb and put out his cigarette before heading into the bar.

“Thanks Frankie,” Billy shouted as the door slammed.

“You know what, this is a stupid idea, let’s get the fuck outta here,” Johnny protested.

“Nah man, we’re gonna ask a few more baseball fans.”

“OK, you ask the question, Larry King.  I’m outta here,” Johnny teased as he started walking up to the avenue.

“Yo Johnny, where ya going?”

Without looking back, Johnny answered, “I’m going to get an egg cream at Rae and Otto’s.”

Billy stood outside Farrell’s.

“Yo Kenny, Derek Jeter a top five Yankee of all-time or what?” Billy asked another Farrell’s patron.

“Fuck Jeter and fuck the Yankees!” Frankie shouted as he walked into the bar.

But before he disappeared Kenny added, “Those scrubs are not even in the playoffs!”

Billy walked away and headed across ninth avenue to the Korean deli.

“You would think Mets fans would give Jeter some respect?” Billy mumbled to himself.


Megan Reynolds of Brooklyn Magazine took in a few spots in the neighborhood. She gives us a brief rundown.

Can’t seem to put my finger on it, but I’m not feeling her description of Farrell’s.

You could very easily end the night at the Double Windsor, but keep it together just long enough to visit Farrell’s, conveniently located across the street. This move is probably going to be where you lose your beer snob friend, and the people that you’re with that don’t like the actual smell of a bar, but those brave soldiers that have stuck it out with you to the bitter end will be rewarded with the coldest beer you’ll find, served in styrofoam cups. It’s a dive bar in the truest sense, but really, nothing ends the night better than an ice-cold Bud. Take it to go, if you dare, or just finish it standing in the cooling night as you look for a cab.

Girls at Farrell's


An interesting take on Brooklyn over the years. Nice mention of the neighborhood.


In Windsor Terrace, Sunday-afternoon drinkers holding plastic foam cups of Budweiser spill onto the sidewalk outside Farrell’s, where Pete Hamill’s father spent many a twilight, while yammering 20-somethings pick from an impressive and rotating selection of craft beers at the Double Windsor across the avenue. I’ve happily stood at each bar when it was three-drinkers deep.




PPW signThursday, May 1 – Late night…

From my old apartment on the corner of Windsor and Ninth to the boys schoolyard it’s 212 steps.

Don’t believe me?

When the rain finally stopped I crossed ninth avenue, stood in front of my old door and actually counted how many steps it took me to go from my old corner to the yard.

It was quiet… scary quiet if you really want to know. To some, it was probably peaceful quiet.

Not a parking spot to be had on Howard Place. I even saw a few cars kissing each other; bumper pressed against bumper.

As I walked alongside Holy Name I looked at the black picket fence on my right. Then I glanced up at the school windows. It’s still the same.

I remember dribbling my basketball up Howard Place.  I could feel each dribble. I’m sure the residents of Howard Place hated that noise; especially at night.

Boy what I would do for a basketball right now. I’m like a junkie feenin’ for a fix.

Crossing the wet street I walked over to where the Trapp’s used to live.

Down their basement steps they kept a bunch of basketballs. If you didn’t have one, you were free to grab one, use it and return it when you were done. I’m sure if the current residents are looking out their front window, they’re probably wondering what I’m doing looking down their steps.

Just think about the cash the Trapp’s could have made by renting those balls to kids? But wait, I was always broke.

But that wasn’t what the Trapp’s or the neighborhood was about when it came to basketball.

I walk back up the block towards the yard.

Passing Tommy Houck’s house, I think back to all the whiffle ball games we played in front of his house.

Crossing Howard Place to my surprise the gate to the yard is open. I step into my “paved paradise.”

Standing on the pavement on the first court I look around. There’s an empty feeling inside of me, almost surreal.

I think back to this place when kids actually hung out here at night. I glance over at the rectory where the priests would stick their heads out the window and scream at me.


That thought sends chills down my spine. They scared me big-time!

Thinking back to the good old days I see John Corrar shooting his left-handed jumper from the right corner.

There’s Jimmy Rauthier getting the ball in the post and drop stepping on someone for a bucket.

How about Gerard Trapp whipping a behind the back pass to a cutting teammate?

Or, the three guys playing on the taps court, six of us playing Around the World, 21 or even one-on-one.

I start taking imaginary shots; sorta like a boxer shadow boxing in the ring but  I am shadow shooting. I just made that up. Go ahead and use it. But wait, no one does that anymore.

The guy passing the yard on Howard Place must think I’m crazy. As I watch him make a right turn on Prospect Avenue, I think of all the guys who used to line the silver fence and watch the summer league games. Some nights they were two deep.

Come to think of it, back in the day when people saw me in the yard so much, they must have thought I was nuts.

Nothing’s changed. My love for the game has grown.

I head out of the yard, up Prospect Avenue and cross ninth avenue. A couple of guys are shutting the gate at Joe’s Pizza. I see they now have a Dunkin’s Donuts on the avenue. I’m sure if my mother Carol was still alive she’d be spending a lot of time here.

The place is empty, I order an iced coffee and two donuts. That’s a lot of sugar for this time of night.  But who cares? I’m on vacation.

Sitting at a small table by the window, I pull out my newspaper and begin to read.

“We close in five minutes,” the nice man with a middle east accent, mopping the floor says to me.

After I polish off my late night treats I walk back across the avenue and down Windsor Place towards tenth avenue.

It’s amazing how empty the streets are, sure it’s a little after eleven on a Thursday night but back in the day you always saw someone out on the streets, in the city that never sleeps.  Or is that Manhattan?

I get down to eleventh avenue and bump into Buzzy getting out of his car, he works the 12-4 shift.   Buzzy has lived on Sherman Street since we were kids. To my surprise he recognizes me and we chat for over thirty minutes. He gives me the rundown on PS 154…boy has that yard changed.

We have a few laughs talking about the past.

Headed back up to the avenue via Windsor Place. I’m hoping to run into the actress Debi Mazar; but she’s probably sound asleep. She had a role in Goodfella’s and was seen on HBO’s Entourage from time to time. I thought they should have given her more love on the HBO series.

I pass Farrell’s once again. I stop in to see Duffer and we chat about old times.

Ten minutes later I head over to the circle, then to the parkside.

I sit on the totem pole and notice a few people walk by but again, I don’t recognize anyone.

My friends and I spent many nights hanging out in this area. Tonight though, it’s a ghost town.

“Where’d everyone go?”

Close to 1 a.m. I head back over to Joe’s apartment where I crash for the night. Gotta love my childhood friend allowing me to stay in his apartment for the weekend.

Hard to get that offer these days.

Well it’s getting late, I have to be up early in morning. Have a lot of people to see and places to go. Plus, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a Sesame bagel with cream cheese from Terrace Bagels.

And, tomorrow night is the Old Timers Dinner out in Bensonhurst; I am looking forward to seeing some good friends from back in the day.




Front of Farrell's (Pat Feenton)No, no, no,  I’m not telling you to go out and break someone’s leg because they said something about you behind your back or maybe they owe you money.  There’s a universal phrase “Break a leg” in theatre used to wish a performer “good luck.”

Journalist, playwright, good friend and writing mentor Pat Fenton will be at Farrell’s this coming Sunday along with actors Jack O’Connell and Honor Molloy. The trio will take us back to Pat’s old Windsor Terrace neighborhood performing a dramatic reading of three scenes from his play “STOOPDREAMER.”

Pat intimates the dreams, trials and travails of just ordinary people trying to find the American dream in post WWII.

Irish-American stories about a lost part of Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, that existed around 17th Street and 9th Avenue before Robert Moses drove the Prospect Expressway through the very heart of it in 1953, and divided it forever.

215 Prospect Park West
Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. 11215

Sunday, April 13th. 2 P.M. to 2:45.

Admission is free.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry, like Pat told me, “just pour a pint and pretend you are back in Farrell’s for the reading.”

Yo Pat, Break a Leg brother!


Cool story about Budweiser beer via the New York Daily News. And if you’re talkin’ suds in NYC, gotta mention Farrell’s.

It still sells here, and it’s here to stay,” says John Powers, a bartender at Farrell’s Bar and Grill, the Windsor Terrace watering hole that was once the East Coast’s biggest seller of Budweiser.

The bar’s regulars are wise to Bud’s legacy.

“It’s the best beer in the city,” says Tom Cannizzaro, 49, a plumber in the neighborhood. “It’s a clean, fresh taste — nothing compares.”

Rich Duffy