Baysiders mourn Donovan’s bartender

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Danny Deane, one of the most beloved bartending figures in Bayside, died Friday of a heart attack. He was 63.

Friends at Donovan’s of Bayside, the Irish restaurant and bar on 41st Avenue where Deane had spent the last 13 years, remembered a kind, loyal man who first came to America from his native Ireland in 1958.

“He was like a leprechaun,” said Erin Donovan, manager of Donovan’s. “He was just a very nice guy, a consummate Irish gentleman.”

Deane, an Auburndale resident, was known as one of the friendliest faces around Donovan’s, which is owned by Erin’s father, Joe.

Fellow bartender Teddy Anderson said Deane came to American when he was about 18 and had been a bartender for decades.

“I’d have to classify Danny as a character, very comical,” said Anderson, as customers chimed in to agree with the assessment. “He had a strong brogue, he could turn it on or off.

“We all loved him,” Anderson said.

One customer, who gave his name as Bruce, said Dean was “very polite with the ladies. Honest, hardworking. He was a good gentleman with people.”

Erin Donovan said Deane, who usually worked at the bar on Fridays, had taken a day off to have his car serviced and to run errands and had a heart attack at the auto shop.

“This became kind of like his home, his family,” she said of the bar. “He would take no nonsense, he was very protective. He really took care of his customers.”

Before coming to Donovan’s more than a decade ago Deane worked at Bridie’s Irish Pub in Flushing, she said.

Some customers at Donovan’s Tuesday afternoon had known Deane since his days at Bridie’s.

“I must have known him 30 years. He was a good guy,” said Richard Hochfeld, who was sitting at the bar with his wife, Rita.

Waitress Theresa Keane said: “I knew Danny for 30 years and loved him. We had great fun — we’re going to miss him very much.”

Deane like to play the lottery, friends said, and he won the pool at Donovan’s Monday, three days after his death.

Deane is survived by his mother and sister, Miriam Whyte, in Ireland. A service was held Sunday at Lloyd’s Funeral Home in Bayside.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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