When Gerry Hughes took over J.P. Doyles, formerly known as Ickle Bickle's Pub in 1996, he wanted to bring a slice of his homeland to the village of Malverne.
The native of Dublin, Ireland, who now lives in Woodmere, created the ideal Irish pub and restaurant, Connolly Station, named after an actual railroad stop on the Emerald Isle.
With live Irish music, played by various performers, including Hughes himself on the first Sunday of every month, tasty dishes and ofcourse, plenty of beer and spirits, Connolly Station quickly became a popular gathering place for locals.
"It has a homey feel to it," Hughes told Patch.
One reason for this is that Hughes has become involved in the community of Malverne, joining the local Merchants and Civic Associations, and frequently donating his pub to groups needing a space to host fundraisers. Last fall, for instance, he provided the venue for a fundraiser for an injured local volunteer firefighter, Lenny Llewellyn, and donated half of his bar sales for the day to help Lenny, who actually met his wife, Christine, at the bar 12 years ago.
For his service to the community, the Nassau Council of Chambers honored Hughes on Oct. 7 at their 27th Annual Small Business Person of the Year Legislative Breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
Hughes was named one of the Small Business Owners of 2011 and was congratulated by local officials, including Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Councilman James Darcy, Town Clerk Mark Bonilla and Malverne Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald (pictured here).
For a closer look at Hughes and his business, check out of a recent "Journey to Connolly Station."