Woodhaven House at 63-98 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park will not reopen when the pandemic is over, the restaurant announced in a Facebook post last Thursday.
“It is not financially possible to continue,” the post said. “These last few months have been devastating for us all in so many ways. Family members and friends lost, so much economic hardship suffered.”
The post called the staff “the glue that held everything together” and thanked the customers who came in throughout the 16 years of business.
“It was our privilege to have been a part of your life,” the post said. “We wish you every happiness and blessing.”
Former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who is running for borough president, had held fundraisers and election night celebrations at the Irish pub and restaurant owned by John Gallagher and John Cregan.
“I’m sad to see that they have decided not to reopen,” Crowley told the Chronicle, adding, “Queens has been hit very hard by COVID. Now we’re starting to see the reality of the economy.”
She remembered the anticipation when the Irish pub and restaurant that featured live music opened in 2004.
“We didn’t have anything like it in our area,” Crowley said. “It was unique.”
Crowley, who said she was preferential to the tilapia and salmon, said Woodhaven House was “a space you enjoyed being in” with its friendly staff and excellent food.
“What more could you ask for from a local pub?” she said.
There was an outpouring of tributes on Facebook when the news was announced.
“We are saddened to hear this,” one customer wrote. “We have so many great memories of spending time there with family and friends.”
Another wrote, “Very sad indeed. But understandable. May you find peace in knowing you instilled memories in those who came to your establishment.”
Hundreds more made similar comments remembering the restaurant.
Woodhaven House is at least the second COVID-related tavern closing in the area. The Irish Cottage in Forest Hills shut its doors weeks after the death of owner Kathleen McNulty and will not reopen after the crisis ends.
“I’ve been to both of those places. It’s horrible,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President Tom Grech told the Chronicle Monday. “I’d like to think, in the spirit of positive thinking, that once things get better those owners can reconsider. But they seem pretty definitive.”