The quick, sad demise of Harry Boland’s Pub

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Relax, everyone — Harry Boland’s bar is not a ticking toxic timebomb.

Neighbors of the shuttered Ninth Street bar were alarmed the other day when a green “Danger” flier was slapped on the windows of the defunct Park Slope watering hole, shut down by the Health Department in May.

One of the signs warned, “This building contains … hazardous gas cylinders belonging to All-County Dispensers.”

It turns out that sign was put up by Tony Durana, a co-owner of the company, who said he only wanted to get his soda dispensing system back from pub owner Brian Flanagan.

He had his own theory for why Boland’s mysteriously closed in May.

“Brian was not getting good business, and all of a sudden he left the pub,” said an exasperated Durana. “And now I cannot get in touch with him to get it back.”

It’s the latest bad news for a bar that has gone from great to bad to worse in almost no time.

In February, state tax officials shut down the pub over unpaid bills. It soon reopened.

But in May, the Department of Health closed it down again after finding evidence of mice, flies and general filth.

Flanagan adored the pub, but couldn’t keep the place running because of a drinking problem, said a former employee, Chewy Hernandez.

Hernandez added that around the time the pub was shut down, Flanagan’s brother, Pat, flew in from Ireland to take care of his sibling, and then took him back with him.

Flanagan’s meltdown was contrary to his friendly and outgoing manner, said a patron, who refused to give his name.

“Each time I was there, Mr. Flanagan would greet me with a smile,” he said. “He was just a very nice guy who made every customer feel welcome.”

Updated 5:25 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John Esq. from Sunset Park says:
Brian is a great guy who had a great place.

Last call !!

Good Luck to you Brian
July 29, 2011, 1:24 am
Joe Kochanski from Blackpool, England says:
I am extremely grateful to be someone who once considered myself to be a regular of Harry’s. Brian made everyone feel welcome, and many years on, I still consider many of the people I met there to be close friends. Best of luck Brian. I sincerely hope you are well and that we might have the opportunity to meet up in the years to come…
July 29, 2011, 8:35 am
MW from Park Slope says:
Best of luck to Brian. It was a great bar, Brian was always welcoming, and it will be missed.
July 29, 2011, 10:36 am
Vinny the Guinea from Bed-Stuy says:
I second the comment from John - Harry Bolands was a fantastic venue, and always staffed by the best. of luck to ye, me lad.
July 29, 2011, 11:17 am
Lorenzo from Park Slope says:
Good Luck, Brian. Recovery is just around the corner--in rehab.

Such a great place to get drunk: mice, flies and general filth. People are so 'into their cups' they can't tell the difference between dysfunctional and functional places.

Another dive bites the dust.
Aug. 8, 2011, 10:28 am
John from Bayridge says:
Maybe the newspaper and disgruntled ex employees should get there facts right before publishing such an article and taking a persons character and destroying a business's reputation.
Aug. 10, 2011, 6:22 am
Aine says:
I totally agree with John from Bayridge comment,paper will take ink! Brian is a Gentleman .
Aug. 21, 2011, 11:18 am
Ellen from Chicago says:
Brian is a dear friend of mine and Harry's was such a warm and welcoming place. I miss it. I wish all the best for him.
Aug. 31, 2011, 12:40 pm
Colleen from Queens says:
Brian was a hard worker and his business brought joy and great memories to many! Nobody is perfect and he will be in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery of whatever ails him.
Sept. 1, 2011, 9:48 am
Colin Caomin from Bay Ridge says:
I knew Brian for many years. Last time I saw him was some years ago but I always found him honest, hard working and one of the best bartenders in Brooklyn. I am saddened to hear he had to close Harry's I knew how much he wanted it to work. I hope he has recovered back in Kildare and is feeling better.
Aug. 7, 2013, 4:02 pm

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