Irish Circle to close after bankruptcy auction

The Irish Circle Tavern has until mid-May to shut its doors after the bank acquired its building in bankruptcy.
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It’s last call for the Irish Circle Tavern in Rockaway Park, which will be closing its doors after the bank that foreclosed on the 20-year-old bar’s home snatched up the property for $1.25 million in a bankruptcy auction.

A bankruptcy judge in Brooklyn federal court last week approved the sale of the two-story, 9,500-square-foot building at the corner of Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 102nd Street to New York Community Bank for the price of $1.25 million.

Tavern owner Jerry Perich, who also runs the real estate LLC holding title to the building, has until May 15 to vacate the property under the terms of Judge Elizabeth Strong’s January order authorizing the bidding.

Massey Knakal Realty had been retained by NYCB to market the property in the auction, and Queens Sales Director Tommy Lin said the firm will list the property within the next few weeks.

“We’re going back out with a normal marketing plan,” he said.

According to Massey Knakal, a number of prospective buyers showed interest in the property before the auction and the firm sent out due diligence packages with information on its financials to 20 parties, but none chose to follow up with a site visit.

“Of those potentially interested parties, no interested parties took a tour of the property,” Massey Knakal partner Thomas Donovan wrote in an affidavit.

Only one bid came in on the building, a $1.2 million offer by Mark Schachner, owner of the Mill Basin Kosher Deli in Brooklyn.

The Irish Circle, which for years served as the terminus of the Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the Rockaway Peninsula, fell on hard times after it lost an Off-Track Betting parlor in its restaurant when the bookmaking business folded in 2010.

The recession and an acrimonious business split also took their toll, and by the time the bank filed a foreclosure action in November 2011, the bar had been in arrears for nearly two years on rent owed to the real estate arm of Perich’s operation.

In August 2013, the realty company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection listing assets of $1.4 million and liabilities of $3.5 million, $3 million of which were owed to the bank.

Late last year Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Strong ordered Perich to begin making rent payments and square away the water and property tax bills, but when the company came up short, the court ordered the building put up on the auction block.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 6:32 pm, May 1, 2014
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Reader feedback

The ghost of Hank from RB says:
Jerry your were always deadbeat.
May 1, 2014, 3:35 pm
Unknown from RB says:
Good for your broke ass
May 1, 2014, 5:53 pm
Donald Sterling from Far Rockaway says:
Knock it down and put up more condos!
May 1, 2014, 6:16 pm
DM from Rockaway says:
Jerry ran that business into the ground himself. It wasn't losing OTB, or Sandy, or anything else that is to blame...just Jerry. He ran out every worthwhile bartender he had, fired experienced managers and let his kids control the business. His kids have a half of a brain in their heads between the three of them. Jerry can point his finger in any direction he wants but the only place he should point it is in the mirror. Now my only hope is a hipster doesn't buy the joint.
May 1, 2014, 8:04 pm
patsy from the rock says:
GOOD. One less bar not to mention thé gambling and thé boarding house
May 1, 2014, 11:39 pm
Mairead says:
You people are ridiculous and heartless. People will always find somewhere to drink and gamble just because the circle is closing DOES not mean anything. Nevermind any resentments you may have with Jerry or anyone involved this is still a local establishment that not only provided jobs for people in this JOB deprived neighborhood but is the local gathering place for all the people in this neighborhood , no matter how much so many people love to hate it. People are always gonna have something to say but if the tables were turned and you were trying to run a business in a storm stricken broke town and putting your kids through college I would LOVE to see you do better.
May 1, 2014, 11:53 pm
Legs Walker from Texas hold 'em says:

U sound like a relative. Jerry is a deadbeat. Ask any his vendors! The bank started foreclosure in Nov 2011 long before Sandy hit. He brought a manager Dutch Green in as a partner to replace Walker then promptly screw Dutch out of his money. Karma is a ——.
May 2, 2014, 12:13 am
Mairead says:
Nope, Legs. Not a relative just a person who finds it upsetting to read an article about the misfortune of one of the very few restaurants in Rockaway closing and having to read such negative comments as if this town hasn't been through enough
May 2, 2014, 12:24 am
BigEarl from LongIsland says:
THE bar, the town, the beach, the neighborhood all slum. Place hasn't been same in 25 years. Infested with crack users/dealers, slum lords, and nitewalkers - not even safe to walk at night. Reminds me of Mott Ave in the 1990s. Whole town is a dump, with few left clinging to old memories and hopes of returned past. You worry about 1 bar, 1 business! Whole town needs a revision project.

GO ahead comment, just remember lock your doors, hide you daughters, close your eyes down RBB on way home and think, cr_p he is right.

Dump beach!
May 2, 2014, 6:01 am
MX Tropics says:
After WWII Rockaway was used by returning Veterans during the housing crisis. This established a very high homeless , or poor housing statistic . Enter the housing projects.
Rockaway has also been home to many mentally challenged and this added to it's use by government agencies . It has the highest rate of mentally challenged per capita in the entire city .
The Fair housing Act of 1964 allowed the housing projects to be used as welfare housing instead of working class transitional housing , as intended .
Rockaway was originally part of Nassau county . That is how to save it . annex it back to Nassau and get it out of the hands of the corrupt moronic democratic miscreants that hold political sway .
Good Luck . Sandy didn't do hardly any damage , compared to the idiots in office . They are unequivically a complete disgrace to humanity .
May 2, 2014, 8:40 am
Chriswiththegimpyleg from RB says:
—— that place, with all of it's 14 year old girls and creep of a crowd, place deserves to be doused with gasoline and lit in flames
May 2, 2014, 10:11 am
Circle Supporter from RB says:
We are going to be ran out of our own town because of people like you. I guess that maybe all of you are too busy hiding behind your computer to know what is actually going on in this neighborhood. Clearly you have some animosity towards Jerry but does that make it ok for you to wish for a ton of your fellow residents to lose their job. Did you think that this may be the only job they have, that they need this money; Obviously not you were too busy trash talking to even care. If you don't like how he runs his business don't be a patron, there are other places in Rockaway you can attend (for now). Maybe you all should get together and buy out the circle since you know a ton of experienced help you can hire and we will see how well you do. At least Mairead has a heart cares about the people of Rockaway and not just a bunch of old grudges.
May 2, 2014, 11:14 am
Danny from Jack Hts says:
Maybe Open A GUN SHOP,Make A FORTUNE!!
May 2, 2014, 2:01 pm
Dan from Rockaway Beach says:
Whats wrong with the Hipsters?
May 2, 2014, 2:15 pm
jeremy says:
Funny everyone will talk —— about it now but when it's gone everyone will miss it
May 2, 2014, 2:50 pm
Lori from Howard Beach says:
Hey about you wimpy ——s put your actual names so Jerry knows who is insulting him and his kids. Easy to hide behind your screen names.
May 2, 2014, 7:53 pm
Ellen from Rockaway says:
On a positive note, I often saw "The Irish Cirle" on the back of many kids uniform shirts. I hope everyone remembers when Jerry sponsored a team or gave a donation to a local cause.
May 3, 2014, 3:37 am
Breezyborn from Breezy point says:
I am not surprised the Circle is closing alot of people saw this comming for a few years now.We used to stop in on Fridays after work for the happy hour and the place would be packedwith great people .They had great bartenders and waitresses. They changed the bartenders and waitresses and the place changed with it.We stoped in after work a few months ago and they had kids working the bar and the food and service was terrible.I hope whoever buys the place restores it back to what it was a FUN place to go with bartenders who greet you with a smile not an attitude.
May 3, 2014, 7:43 am
Dickey Otto from Indian reservation says:
Bring back Dicko, Whispers and Dutch!
May 3, 2014, 9:35 am
irish rover from irish town says:
I hope Jerry Reen takes the place over. The joint should have heen his years ago! Karma?
May 3, 2014, 9:44 am
truck flynn from garden city says:
Blue horseshoe loves endicott steel.
May 3, 2014, 9:47 am
eddie ed from baytowers says:
Me and my boys goin open up a show world. Put these white girls to work, stimulate the economy.
May 3, 2014, 9:58 am
Paulie Kelly from roxbury says:
Get the f#ck out of here!!!
May 3, 2014, 10:03 am
angelo from howard beach says:
A true shame that its closing. I met the girl who would become my wife there at the 2009 Patty's parade and looked fo. ard to going back with her in the years ahead and reminiscing about our magic day.

just keep the memories alive of all the good times you've had there over the years. They can't close those down.

Oh here she comes now as im typing this.....''ok darling, shut up already....Yes i know i have things to ruined my life you b**ch!''
May 3, 2014, 10:51 am
Jerry, You are a DISGRACE to the JEWS...
May 3, 2014, 2:32 pm
Paddy Boy on life support from At Dicko's wedding right now says:
It's a shame the Circle is closing and I feel sorry for the people that worked there for years and who's livelihood revolved on the success of the place.

The Circle was once a great place for a food, drinks and meeting friends. Its kind tragic because today was one of the best days there..... Kentucky Derby day, A lot of marriages and divorces came to fruition from the place.

But the blame and failure of the business goes to Jerry. He made some bad business decisions before the storm and according to the article the bank started foreclosure in November 2010.The assets are $1.4 million and liabilities of $3.5 million, $3 million of which are owed to the bank. The other 500,000 was probadly owed to vendors, taxes and etc.
Instead of putting catering upstairs he put a a law firm up there.

Back when it was an OTB affilated theme place they recievecd all sort of financial help from OTB in refurburshing and upgrades. Dont know if this is true supposedly he got away with not paying shift pay for his bartenders during the OTB years. Its a privilege to work here was his self serving edict while violating several tax laws and etc. For the Rockaway Saint Patrick's day he would make the staff pay for their uniform shirts that he got for free from Bud. The parade the last three years doesnt even march by his place because he stop supporting it. It was all good until it wasn't.

After OTB went belly up there was really no reason to go in there. He fired key bartenders, cooks and etc mostly for petty stuff. He fired Dicko as the General Manager and sold Dutch a dream when he made him a partner. Dutch is really screwed wont get a cent back now. Guess no one remembers when he ripped people off in his own Super Bowl pool claiming that his former partner had their monies.

Not bashing Jerry he was his own worst enemy plain and simple. I wish him and his family well.

Perhaps they came make it a urgrent care medical place because it was on life support for long time.
May 3, 2014, 3:25 pm
Rob from Rockaway Park says:
Maybe something run better will replace it. During the last few summers, The Circle was packed with under-aged kids. They would fight and yell in the middle of the night, right by my building, waking me up. While I hope something good comes in, I won't miss it to much. I did a few a good beers in there though.
May 4, 2014, 3:59 pm
Mary Palazzo from North Carolina says:
When I lived there, not so long ago the place was nice. I had great times and dinner with friends there. A radio station would come and do broadcasts. Its a shame to hear such hateful words about the place. Yes NY has changed. Rockets included. But stop harping on the bad and remember the good. I'm sorry to see it go. I will always remember the good memories and St. Pattys days there.
May 4, 2014, 11:46 pm
Candice from Rockaway Beach says:
I understand why some are sad for this place to close down however I do feel that it shouldn't be a bar gone to waste. I think it'd be so great if somehow it could become The Harbor Light. Yeah different location and setting but many rockaway folks would be so happy to see Mr. Hearen back in business again. Just an opinion
May 8, 2014, 9:08 am
conscientious objector from under the board walk says:
hey any truth to the rumour that danny klein and the boys are making a come back and opening a gay after hours joint called the circle jerks
May 9, 2014, 9:04 pm
truck flynn from garden city says:
Blue horseshoe loves Teldar paper.
May 10, 2014, 11:37 pm
Joe Taxi from heaven says:
My favorite bar to be carried out of! Whispers gave me every other drink on Jerry!
May 10, 2014, 11:40 pm
fire alarm John from rockaway says:
The place was a death trap! I only hung out because Whispers gave me every other drink on Jerry!
May 10, 2014, 11:45 pm
Mad Maxx from Rockaway Park says:
The place was OK. Food was OK too. It was nice to have it in the neighborhood for so many years, but the younger crowds in recent years were a bit rowdy and the cops were always parked there knowing something might happen especially on weekends! Why not put an establishment that we don't have out here such as Starbucks, Lowe's, Home Depot, Staples or even IHOP just to name a few. Also the declining quality of life here can be attributed to the fact that every dreg of society is being allowed to float over from Far Rockaway! If this continues , it'll just become an annex of Far Rock, truly sad!
July 28, 2014, 12:27 am

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