The name and ownership may be different, but the rich history and tradition of Lily Flanagan’s will live on in Islip in the form of Mary Dowling’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, says co-owner Joseph Frizalone.
“We wanted to turn this back into what it was 10, 12, 15 years ago,” said Frizalone, who’s been going to Lily’s for much of his adult life.
On Sept. 15, Mary Dowling’s will have a grand opening to celebrate the launch of the newly updated pub. The day will consist of food and drink specials, as well as raffles for prizes like vacations and more.
As previously reported, Frizalone and his brother-in-law Richard “Kippy” Kuplen purchased the Irish pub after nearly 30 years of it running on 528 Main Street.
The new owners closed the establishment on July 4 for 10 days for the improvements.
“Everything was pretty much broken,” said Frizalone, of Farmingdale. “Basically we gave this place a facelift.”
Some of the renovations included new tables and chairs, new bar décor, bathrooms, as well as a completely redone outdoor bar.
Aside from cosmetics, the food menu was upgraded by bringing in known Long Island chef Marc Anthony Bynum of Hush Bistro in Farmingdale as a consultant.
Great History: Remember when Lily Flanagan’s was Allen’s Pharmacy?
The brother-in-laws had plans to do a complete remodel of Lily’s, but scrapped the idea in favor of preserving the old feel of the place on Main Street.
“We are going to dedicate a whole wall to Lily Flanagan’s,” said Frizalone. “We don’t want to forget what this place was; Lily Flanagan’s is … historical.”
“We want to be known as a place for the community,” he continued. “Anything that we can do to bring the community together here, we want to do it.”
One person who will help those efforts along is longtime employee and the man behind the bar, Edward “Lanny” Skehan.
“Thank God for Lanny, he is like the mayor of the town,” said Frizalone. “Everybody loves him and he knows everyone.”
Skehan used to serve Frizalone and Kuplen at the bar, and now he will be helping them build it back up.
“I’m looking forward to getting it on and getting [Mary Dowling’s] going,” said Skehan.
Top: The new Mary Dowling’s sign up at 528 Main Street, Islip. (Nick Esposito)