Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
Frequenters of O’Donnell’s Pub in Mineola will now themselves entering The Black Sheep Ale House.
Vince Minutella, who has owned the bar since January 2010, said the reason for the name change was to “put my own stamp on the place,” explaining that he picked the new moniker as a reference to his Irish heritage. The title also is a bit of an inside family joke since Minutella’s family originally wanted him to study business but he became an actor instead, which he lightheartedly said made him the “black sheep of the family.”
“I loved O’Donnell’s,” he said. “I was a customer of O’Donnell’s years ago and that was one of the reasons I wanted to buy it.”
Minutella said he ran it for about a year and a half and said it didn’t feel right and wanted to make his mark on the pub.
Minutella mentioned preferring to have a pint in a place “that has roots in the community.” This philosophy heavily influenced how he wanted to set up and run his bar.
“It feels like my place,” he said of the new name. “Certain aspects of what the pub used to be didn’t exist anymore, which is why I overhauled it a bit.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Oct. 12 with Mayor Scott Strauss. Minutella, who received his craft beer background working at Croxley’s on Avenue B in Manhattan, was eager to start business under the new name.
“[The owners] were very helpful to me, offering me advice when I was buying the pub,” he said. “They’re really good guys and all I learned while working with them is transferring over here.”
While Minutella wanted to add craft brews to his menu, he was firm in keeping many of the classics and brand names in order to create a place where “you can order a craft or Coors Light and no one will look down their nose at you.”
He added a new tap system before the opening, though his installer said that it would be easier to just rip out the old system. Minutella would have none of it.
“I told them to not touch that system,” he said emphatically. “I installed a secondary beer system for my additional taps.”
The pub houses 25 beers on tap as well as over 60 bottled beers. The process of picking all twenty-five draught beers was a “labor of love,” Minutella said, and includes many local Long Island microbrews, amongst other limited releases.
The bar will continue to offer places to view NFL football games on the HD TV’s as well as karaoke and occasional live entertainment from bands, according to Minutella.
“We have a lot of local beers and microbrews from around the country and also have a lot of stuff from Belgium and Germany, from all around; pretty much international,” he said.