One Pub's Layered History

Dee Bowers

Ballybunion bar (now closed) at 9510 3rd Avenue
Ballybunion Irish bar, 2012, color photograph, OSOS_0280. Our Streets, Our Stories collection, Brooklyn Public Library, Center for Brooklyn History.

This Friday is Saint Patrick's Day, so I searched our Digital Collections portal for something Irish to share for Photo of the Week. I was pleasantly surprised to find an image from my own neighborhood, Bay Ridge, which is home to many Irish-American families. This color photograph of the Ballybunion Irish bar at 9510 3rd Avenue was taken in 2012 and donated to the Our Streets, Our Stories project in 2016 by James Shanahan. The catalog record notes that the bar is now closed. Curious, I looked up the address and found that there is still an Irish bar at this location: The Wicked Monk, a popular neighborhood establishment. Comparing the below Google streetview image and the photo above, the decorative cornice makes it clear that the Wicked Monk takes up both the former Ballybunion space and the space next door.

Google streetview image of the Wicked Monk pub on 3rd Avenue

The Wicked Monk website notes, "This beautiful bar with its original wood and stained glass were shipped direct from the chapel in Greenmount Monastery (Gallows Green), Cork, Ireland, which was built in 1897, replacing a monastery which stood on the site previously since 800 AD. The building in Ireland was recently declared a Historic Treasure." Though the Ballybunion Bar may have been lost, this location is undoubtedly still a slice of Ireland in Bay Ridge.

Interested in seeing more photos from CBH’s collections? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images, or the digital collections portal at Brooklyn Public Library. We look forward to inviting you to CBH in the future to research our entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections. In the meantime, please visit our resources page to search our collections. Questions? Our reference staff is available to help with your research! You can reach us at



This blog post reflects the opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Brooklyn Public Library.


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