By Maria Rocha-Buschel
When Paddy Maguire’s owner Patrick Maguire originally came to New York when he was 21 it was only supposed to be for three weeks, but he liked it so much he ended up staying. Since then, Maguire opened up the bar at 237 Third Avenue and the spot is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend.
Although he did have prior bartending experience before opening Paddy Maguire’s Ale House at the Water Club, his career change was more drastic than that of most bar owners.
“I was an apprentice jockey for about five years,” he said, explaining that he moved from his native Kilmallock, Ireland to England for the experience. “But I started growing my legs and soon they were three feet longer than they should’ve been, so I said the hell with it. You can only be so tall as a jockey. You either hurt yourself trying or you get out.”
Out of his 12 other siblings, it had been Maguire whose father singled out as the one son who would be involved in horses. But it wasn’t pushed on him. Maguire said that he genuinely enjoyed the experience.
“I loved every minute of it,” he said. “And it was good discipline. They were very strict. It was like being in a convent, to be honest.”