Showtime hit “Ray Donovan” shoots scenes at Sunset Park’s Irish Haven

June 25, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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Once again, Irish Haven, a well-known Irish bar in Sunset Park that has been used for film and TV shoots in the past, was turned into a set for a hit television show.

Last week, a scene from the Showtime series “Ray Donovan,” starring Liev Schreiber, was filmed at the pub, a longtime institution in the neighborhood.

The show, which has Jon Voight and Susan Sarandon among its cast members, was canceled last February. After a groundswell of backlash from fans, Schreiber, who also writes and directs episodes of the show, wanted to see it through. Rather than doing an eighth season, the show is finishing out the seventh season with a series finale that will be a feature-length film.

Co-owner Matt Hogan and his partners, the Collins family, were happy that the show chose the Irish Haven to film scenes.

“We are very production-friendly and there’s been a few projects here in the past,” Hogan said. “When a location starts from one production on a new production, the director or assistant director say they need to find this kind of a venue or vibe. Someone will say, ‘I shot the project at Irish Haven.’ A lot of it is just word-of-mouth referrals within the industry.”

Scenes from Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning film “The Departed,” based loosely on Boston’s Irish-American Winter Hill Gang, were filmed at the bar 15 years ago. More recently, shows such as “Gotham” and “The Deuce” were filmed there, along with the movie “The Kitchen.”

This time around, Hogan stated the experience was a positive one for the neighborhood.

“The crew was great and they were seasoned professionals,” he said. “They didn’t take up a large footprint. They took half of the street instead of the whole area for parking. It worked well for the whole community. 

“We have neighbors like Metro Café, and they did really well. It helped us because COVID was a tough time for the entire restaurant and bar industry, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as far as helping keep the lights on.”

The filming started Wednesday, June 16, and lasted until Saturday, June 19.

Co-owner of Irish Haven Matt Hogan with Liev Schreiber.

Hogan said that Schreiber was very approachable despite being a well-known actor. Schreiber interacted with fans and locals when he was on break or had just finished scenes.

“The 72nd Precinct was there to keep an eye on the set, and he was nice to the officers that were nearby,” Hogan said. “He made time to talk to them, asking them first-responder questions about the pandemic.”

The crew also built the bar a new outdoor deck.

“They needed to strike our outdoor deck because they are not filming in a COVID universe for this film,” Hogan explained. “They wanted to get rid of our outdoor deck because it didn’t fit in the South Boston area that they are portraying. They later said, ‘Can we move it and bring it back? We can make you a bigger and brighter version.’ They struck it, recycled what they could. 

And built us a brand new one. It’s within the character we had before, but nicer.”

The crew from “Ray Donovan” built Irish Haven a new deck.
Co-owner of Irish Haven Matt Hogan with famed actor Jon Voight.
For some scenes, the Irish Haven was transformed into the fictional Kelleigh’s Bar.


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