Bar back: Play looks at the history of Farrell’s

Old school: Farrell’s is the last bar standing since Robert Moses began building his roadways through Windsor Terrace in 1945.
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It’s a new play about old-school Brooklyn!

A drama about the changing Windsor Terrace neighborhood, set in the legendary Farrell’s Bar and Grill, will get a pair of readings this weekend at the Shepherd’s Hall at the Holy Name Church — just a block away from its boozy setting. “Stoopdream­er,” written by Windsor Terrace native Pat Fenton, focuses on gentrification and the effects of the Prospect Parkway, which tore through the neighborhood during the 1940s, and the show’s producer hopes that it will help educate locals about their history.

“For people who just moved here it’ll be a great way to learn the history of the neighborho­od,” said Jay Cusato, who grew up in Park Slope and now lives in Sunset Park. “And for others, it’ll be a walk down memory lane.”

At the reading, Cusato will also discuss his plans for an upcoming documentary about Farrell’s crucial place in this area’s rich history.

“Stoopdreamer” focuses on the massive road construction project decreed by Robert Moses in 1945, which displaced more than a thousand families from Windsor Terrace. In the play, three people gather at modern-day Farrell’s, 70 years after the construction, to reminisce about the neighborhood they once knew.

The play is set at Farrell’s because it is the last bar standing from the pre-Moses era. The iconic Irish pub is a prominent piece of the old Brooklyn neighborhood, which makes it a worthy subject of the play and of a film, said Cusato.

“The documentary asks the question ‘Why did Farrell’s stand the test of time?’ ” said Cusato. “It’s basically the same bar as it was in the 1930s.”

Proceeds from the event will go to Holy Name Church, which is what past bar owner Eddie Farrell would have wanted, according to Cusato.

“Eddie Farrell was really into fund-raising,” he said.

Farrell’s current owner, Jimmy Houlihan, assisted with planning the event, and the cast includes both on and off-Broadway actors, Cusato said.

Cusato hopes some of the people who attend the play will be able to talk about Farrell’s history for his documentary.

“We hope to attract people not on social media,” he said. “People who were there. I hope this brings people out.”

“Stoopdreamer” at Shepherd’s Hall [245 Prospect Park West at Ninth Avenue in Windsor Terrace, (718) 768–3071]. Jan. 13 at 8 pm; Jan. 14 at 3 pm. $30.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 5:50 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Patty J from Brooklyn says:
It's just a bar
Jan. 11, 2018, 8:48 am
Tyler from pps says:
“It’s basically the same bar as it was in the 1930s.”

There's a lot of truth to that... Farrell's is the only bar in Brooklyn where I've witnessed patrons shouting homophobic slurs and racist epithets at people passing by and, in one instance, a man exiting the bar (visibly frightened)
Jan. 11, 2018, 10:04 am
OH says:
I went to Farrell's shortly after I moved to Brooklyn in 1980. What curious person wouldn't want to check out a neighborhood institution? I am heterosexual, over six-feet tall, and played a varsity sport in college but I was found not manly enough by the regulars, who made their contempt known. I have never been back. I hear that they have stools now.
Jan. 11, 2018, 11:24 am
Ace from Mapleton says:
I saw Pete Hamill drinking a Budweiser at Farrell's and, his hair was perfect.
Jan. 11, 2018, 1:50 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Alcoholics are terrible people, and say nasty things to anyone unfortunate enough to interact with them. I have no idea why anyone would be surprised by this.
Jan. 11, 2018, 2:26 pm
Nathan from Flatbush says:
Shoutout to the guy at Farrell's who started haranguing my wife and I about how Bloomberg is a wimp, the Styrofoam ban stinks, climate change is a hoax, and the fancy stuff we were allegedly looking for wasn't on offer, within five seconds of us walking in to watch a Mets game. We didn't stay for the whole thing.
Jan. 11, 2018, 3:04 pm
The last time i visited Farrell's they had a picture of the Pope with a container in his hand posted by the registerer and at that point I decided if it's good enough for the Pope to drink ithere , it's good enough for me.
In fact the patron standing next to me asked the Bartender how often did he come by and what kinda guy was he.

My immediate thought was ,this guy had to be a Protestant , so I had him thrown out.
Jan. 11, 2018, 3:49 pm
One of the Leftovers from Windsor Terrace says:
The rich history and the generations of families who made this neighborhood what it is and what attracted the "newbies" is incredible and so many are still here.

Beautiful, caring, thoughtful, hardworking people who would give you the shirt off their back.

That's the real Brooklyn.
Jan. 12, 2018, 11:20 am

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