The Wicked Monk 730 A.D.-Present: A Long Journey From Cork, Ireland to Bay Ridge

March 9, 2015 Editorial Staff
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Some 25 years ago, a young lad from Cork City, Ireland had an idea to build a unique bar in a neighborhood in Brooklyn with a rich history of drinking establishments called Bay Ridge.  Mick Dorgan had learned the bartending trade before he eventually joined the FDNY.  He had a feeling the time was right for a place only he could have imagined.

Back near his home was an old monastery in a place called Gillabey with a sordid history filled with debauchery, hangings and burnings.  There are even stories of several bloody battles between Viking Raiders and the monastery’s monks and natives.

A huge warrior known as The Patriot Monk was the only reason the Green Mount monastery survived these assaults dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries A.D.  In the early 1990s, it was finally scheduled for demolition after well over a millennium of wickedness.

Dorgan’s father suggested they might salvage enough of this relic to build his son’s dream bar. Through Mr. Dorgan’s efforts, they retrieved some amazing acquisitions.  In 1994, after months of transport and many more months of building, Dorgan and his partners opened a masterpiece of a pub at 8415 Fifth Avenue called The Wicked Monk.

The Wicked Monk had ancient stained glass and woodwork, a real pulpit and pews, and a telephone booth made from The Green Mount’s confessional.  It was filled with gargoyles, street signs, artifacts and trinkets from the monastery, many centuries old.

Upon entering, you might feel you were in an actual church/pub in Ireland.  It had a unique gothic look complete with a real life mural honoring the many friends that donated their efforts to help complete Dorgan’s long-time dream. Its successful run was only interrupted by a much shorter voyage to 9510 Third Avenue in the same, now up-and-coming Bay Ridge area.

Dorgan and his new partners thought it was a wise gamble to move on up. The location had its own rich history as a bar/restaurant, with a long run as the Ballybunion after many years as Chelsea Station.  Before that, it was two separate units  — an old bar called Shoreham and one of the ever-famous Ebinger’s Bakeries.

Gone were the dart boards and the pool table of the old Monk and a new improved, bigger and even more beautiful Monk was born, opening in late 2012 with a full kitchen serving high end pub food.  It is a lovely full-service, family-friendly restaurant with 20 high definition large screen TVs and has become a favorite spot for the locals to watch their favorite sporting events.

Live music at “The Monk” is still going strong.  You can count on any one of the area’s favorite cover bands to belt out classic pop/rock music every Saturday around 11 p.m.

On Mardi Gras Thursdays, the Bayou Boys play the blues from 6:30 to 9 p.m., accompanied by New Orleans-style specials from 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday afternoons in the spring and summer you will often enjoy Irish Seisun music or a one man band playing favorites at the bar, often inspiring sing-alongs.

The restaurant is open seven days a week, serving food from noon to 1 a.m. Sundays through Fridays and until 10 p.m. on band nights. Saturday and Sunday brunches are a favorite as the entrees include a complimentary cocktail. The customers are often “wowed”  by the daily specials and amazing holiday menus that Chef Russell comes up with. The Wicked Monk has lived up to the slogan “It’s Not Just An Irish Pub.”

The relics from the Green Mount have had an interesting journey. The current location of The Wicked Monk has some “if these walls could talk” history of its own.  It is widely believed that many of the souls that have lived within these walls over the centuries live on in spirit.

To be continued…


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