Sections

Legendary Windsor Terrace barkeep tapped for Bartender Hall of Fame

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Call it the Hooley spirit!

A bar industry magazine saluted the owner and long-time tender of Farrell’s Bar and Grill in Windsor Terrace with the highest honor available to a barkeep on Wednesday, when it inducted him into the Bartender Hall of Fame.

Bartender Magazine celebrated sage tapster Jim “Hooley” Houlihan for the years he has spent leveraging the beloved Prospect Park West watering hole’s name to offer locals a helping hand, according to the man himself.

“It’s a great neighborho­od,” said Houlihan, 76, who has worked behind the bar for 50 years and owned it for almost 20. ”We take care of each other.”

In 1995, a year before he and co-owner Tim Horan bought Farrell’s, Hooley worked with local firefighters to recruit 300 volunteers to repaint the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School in a weekend.

Ever since, the barkeep has used his prestigious role as neighborhood whistle-wetter for the benefit of Park Slope and Windsor Terrace — in 2005, he organized a “neighborhood reunion” that raised north of $50,000 for locals churches, according to one long-time patron.

“He’s very good at getting people to come together,” said Park Slope native Mike Signorile. “Everybody knows Hooley.”

It is his support of the community, along with the dozen clippings his wife Eileen sent to Bartender Magazine that led the periodical to add him to its list of top notch bartenders, according to the magazine’s editor Jackie Foley.

But patrons say Hooley really deserves the award for the simple reason that he is a great guy.

“He’s my friend,” said Bob “Broadway” Cunningham. “He deserves this honor.”

Houlihan took his first job behind a bar at Farrell’s in 1965, when he served many of the same patrons who still frequent the local joint today.

Things were different back in those days, when Eddy Farrell still operated his namesake drinkery, and women were banned from bar service on account of there being no bar stools to seat them at — a novel workaround that made Farrell’s a sanctuary for the fellas, according Signorile.

“They wouldn’t serve women back in the ’60s, so we’d say, ‘We’re going to Farrell’s,’ and they’d leave us alone,” he said. “It was just beer and balls, nothing fancy.”

The 82-year-old tavern now has women — and bar stools — but, in many ways, it retains the unique charm that has kept locals coming back throughout the decades, regulars say.

“All my friends are here. It’s a neighborhood place. It’s the place to be,” said Cunningham.

The fact that Farrell’s serves beer in 32-ounce foam cups — known as Farrelizers — doesn’t hurt either, although Hooley would never admit that it is the bar’s main selling point.

“That’s not it,” said Houlihan. “It’s because of the people. The neighborhood always comes back to support Farrell’s.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 3:32 am, November 20, 2015
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Peter Engel from Downtown Brooklyn says:
In 1971, journalist and hometown boy Pete Hamill was dating big-time actress Shirley MacLaine. He brought her to Farrell's. Being that times were changing anyway, that's when they relaxed the "No Women" rule. Obviously there's no going back.
Nov. 20, 2015, 11:13 am
Tom from Park Slope says:
Burn it down already.
Nov. 20, 2015, 2:24 pm
Red from Ninth Avenue says:
Nice job Colin.

Hooley is the best.
Nov. 21, 2015, 1:54 pm
richie k says:
How about we burn u down!!!!
Nov. 21, 2015, 3:57 pm
John Delaney from Parkville, Md. says:
Jimmy, do you remember me? I was a friend of yours and your brother Eddie (pig). We all hung out together at Farrell's during the mid 50s and early 60s. You can reach me at johnnylyd38@verizon.net. Send me an e-mail and bring me one of those wonderful beers we used to savor with gusto.
June 12, 2016, 8:45 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!