Among Long Island’s many sports bars and live music venues, Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall of Wantagh sets itself apart from the rest by combining the two. Conveniently located across from the Wantagh train station, the venue hosts a range of events to suit people of varying interests. Since its inception, the pub has transformed into a common place for young partygoers, sports fanatics and music lovers alike.
“It’s a local place so we see our regulars often,” said Timothy Murray, director of promotions for Mulcahy’s. “We’ve gone through generations. First it was the parents, now we’re seeing their kids.”
Previously in place of Mulcahy’s, there had been a traditional Irish pub for almost two decades. In 1983, John Murray Jr., Timothy Murray’s father, purchased the space and has since bought the neighboring businesses, which has allowed the bar to double, and eventually, triple in size. Currently, the space consists of a main room with a large bar in the center and an adjacent stage. To the right of the stage is a dance floor and another bar with a VIP section, suitable for private parties. During the summer months, a back tiki bar is open for outdoor drinks.
Loyal customers and newcomers are equally drawn to the recurrence of appearances by cover bands such as Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot, covering Billy Joel’s greatest hits; the Zac Brown Tribute Band; Larger Than Life, a 90s boy band cover group and Badfish, a Sublime tribute group. On Sept. 10, there will be a Taylor Swift tribute and then a Blink 182 tribute by cover band Blink 180 True the following Saturday.
The Mulcahy’s stage has seen more than just cover bands, hosting a variety of well-known talent including performances by Cheap Trick, Brett Michaels, Weezer, Joan Jett, Ted Nugent, Third Eye Blind, Dropkick Murphys, Smashmouth and Gavin DeGraw. Locals can look forward to many performances by artists on tour over the summer. Through July and August, scheduled performances include artist G. Love and country star Rodney Atkins.
“You can catch acts you wouldn’t see in most towns,” said Murray. “It’s big enough that it has that New York City feel but it’s right in your backyard.”
In an effort to attract a younger crowd more regularly, Mulcahy’s has begun hosting Friday Night ’90s Night, featuring top hits from the decade and offering reasonably priced drink specials. With $10 admission, attendees have access to half-priced Bud Lights and mixed drinks, as well as $4 fireball shots.
Despite the growing success of ’90s Night, the venue still tends to see its greatest volume of customers on the nights when Billy Joel tribute band, Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot, takes the stage.
“Big Shot attracts people of all ages, ranging anywhere from 23 to 50 and even older,” said Murray.
Besides simply holding events at the bar, Mulcahy’s has started to host all-inclusive bus trips to concerts. Though the concert tickets must be bought separately, the packages do include transportation, food and beer and the chance to be a part of a pre-concert tailgate. Upcoming trips include Zac Brown Band at Citi Field and Kenny Chesney at Citi Field.
What many people don’t know about Mulcahy’s is that it has a good reputation for its catering services. In the past, the venue has accommodated several large parties, fundraisers and benefits. One in particular is the annual fundraiser for the John Theissen Children’s Foundation, an organization that aims to assist underprivileged and sick children and their families. The money raised each year goes toward therapeutic and recreational equipment for hospitals and childcare facilities, medical expenses that cannot be met, toys for needy children during the holiday season and more.
“We can do private parties of all sizes with different pricing options,” said Murray. “We’ll take care of everything from start to end.”
With a bar that has evolved so significantly since its humble beginnings, it is not unlikely that the future holds even more growth. Murray expressed his wish to someday possibly open a second location on Long Island. He also hopes to expand the bus trip programs to different concerts, primarily within the summer months. There’s a god chance that Mulcahy’s will continue to be a unique Long Island gem bringing satisfaction to a diverse range of customers.
For more information about Mulcahy’s, visit www.muls.com or call 516-783-7500.