Entertainment

Lady Gaga fave Desmond’s Tavern has a new owner

Before she was Lady Gaga, Desmond’s Tavern owner Hugh Connolly knew her as Stefani.

Gaga, whose full name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, was a regular at the now-closed historic bar in the 2000s, attests Connolly.

“Back when she was Stefani, she came up here with the artsy crowd of student actors and singers,” Connolly told The Post. “She would meet people and have burgers and wings.”

Gaga patronized the bar as a musical theater student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, he said. A representative for the 35-year-old “Bad Romance” singer did not respond to The Post’s requests for comment.

“She was always a sweetheart. She was nice to the bartenders. She was just a neighborhood girl, a sweet girl,” Connolly said. 

Desmond's Tavern bartender Sandra Threinfhir, Lady Gaga and an unidentified woman are pictured at Desmond's Tavern in this photo provided by Hugh Connolly.
Desmond’s Tavern bartender Sandra Threinfhir, Lady Gaga and an unidentified woman are pictured at the bar in this photo provided by Hugh Connolly.
Courtesy of Hugh Connolly
The 1,600-square-foot bar at 433 Park Avenue South was founded in 1936 as a "Blarney Stone" pub.
The 1,600-square-foot bar at 433 Park Ave. South was founded in 1936 as a Blarney Stone pub.
Katz & Associates
Connolly’s father Michael Connelly bought the bar in 1968 and served “properly pulled” Guinness and corned beef.
Connolly’s father, Michael, bought the bar in 1968 and served “properly pulled” Guinness and corned beef.
Katz & Associates

The bar temporarily shuttered on March 16, 2020, after 84 years due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the closure became permanent last week when Connolly signed a new tenant who will run a new restaurant in the building. 

“I’m 67. I’ve had four heart operations — I don’t want to kill myself with stress,” Connolly said. “It’s a different world and, frankly, a harder world in the bar business. A younger guy can do it better.” 

“Side Door” and “One Lenox” restaurateur Istvan Nagy will continue to run the space as a bar, restaurant and entertainment venue under a new name, which is yet to be determined.

It is slated to open in November or December, according to Katz & Associates, who represented Connolly in the transaction. Nagy, who was represented by Habendum Real Estate’s Nicolas Nitu, could not be reached for comment.

“No place could ever replace it,” customer and actor Jeanmarie Lally told The Post. “It breaks my heart that Desmond’s is gone.” 

An eagle-eyed Desmond's patron posted this photo on Facebook in May, writing "I just walked by and it looks like they won't be reopening."
An eagle-eyed Desmond’s patron posted this photo on Facebook in May, writing, “I just walked by and it looks like they won’t be reopening.”
Géraud P. Krawezik
Before she was Lady Gaga, Stephanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta was a regular at Desmond's Tavern, attests owner Hugh Connolly, whose family ran the 85-year-old bar since 1968.
Before she was Lady Gaga, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was a regular at Desmond’s Tavern, attests owner Hugh Connolly, whose family ran the 85-year-old bar since 1968.
Angel Chevrestt
Lady Gaga surprises fans while on the Bud Light x Lady Gaga Dive Bar Tour where the singer performed three new tracks off her upcoming album 'Joanne' on October 20, 2016 in New York City. Desmond's Tavern is not pictured in this photo.
Lady Gaga surprises fans while on the Bud Light x Lady Gaga Dive Bar Tour where the singer performed three new tracks off her upcoming album “Joanne” on October 20, 2016, in New York City.
Dimitrios Kambouris

The 1,600-square-foot bar at 433 Park Ave. South was founded in 1936 as a Blarney Stone pub.

Connolly’s father, Michael, served “properly pulled” Guinness and corned beef from 1968 to 1990, when he handed it over to his son. Hugh, often called “Hughie” by patrons, added live music and re-named it “Desmond’s Tavern.” Gaga visited during the 2000s, he said. 

“The neighborhood kept changing and gentrifying. It is very changed. We adjusted, but we kind of stayed the same,” he said. “Our menus became more gentrified and contemporary over the years, but we stuck to a lot of the traditional stuff.” 

Gaga, who recently performed with Tony Bennett in NYC until he retired last week, grew up in the Pythian condominiums in Lincoln Square, where her father Joe Germanotta still runs the Joanne Trattoria restaurant. Gaga now primarily resides in California, where her French Bulldogs dogs were stolen — and found again — earlier this year.

nypost.com

New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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