ON LOCATION?U2’s world famous quartet of the Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen and Bono are pictured on the top of the Electric Lady Studios in New York, across the road from George Garrity’s bar.
Knock man views intimate U2 rooftop gig in NYC
George Garrity to welcome Bono for a pint in Greenwich Village
WHEN you open a gastro pub across the road from the world famous Electric Lady Studios in New York, built by Jimi Hendrix in 1970, then chances are you are going to run into some famous faces.
But Knock native George Garrity did not quite imagine his business’s proximity to the world-famous recording studios would mean getting up close and personal with the most famous Irish band of all time.
George, who emigrated to the Big Apple after finishing his secondary education in 1989, is the proprietor of the plush Pour George pub/restaurant in Greenwich Village, and just last week he was one of a handful of people who got to witness a very special performance by U2 on the roof of the Electric Lady Studios.
“Rumours have been rife in the States that U2 are recording their new album, due out in the Fall, at the Electric Lady Studios, and there had been rumoured sightings of Bono in the Greenwich Village locality.
“And sure enough, on Friday evening, May 31, Bono and the boys appeared on top of the Electric Lady Studios for what looked like a special recorded performance.”
The band were actually filming an acoustic version of ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ for an art project called ‘Inside Out’, and George and some members of his staff were invited up to witness the recording.
“It was all a bit crazy because by pure coincidence, my bar was closed that Friday, as popular USA Network drama series, ‘White Collar’, was being filmed on the street where my bar is located in Greenwich.
“That in itself was exciting, but when we were told a few of us could go up to see the U2 performance, we couldn’t believe our luck. I rounded up some of the bar staff and some friends and we got to see U2 perform one of their most intimate performances ever!
“I have always been a huge fan of U2 and have seen them in concert several times – but never this close up! Bono was super friendly and took the time out to chat. He said he will drop by next week for a pint at Pour George; he had prearranged plans after the recording last Friday was complete, but hopefully he will drop in for a pint of the black stuff in the near future.”
When George is not rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, he is hard at work in high-end construction in Manhattan, which he has been involved in since he came to New York in 1989.
“My father Vince (who now resides in Pearl River, New York, with his wife Evelyn) owned a construction company called Bekan Construction back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The company would be very well known; my dad built all of the souvenir shops around Knock and many slatted houses in the area too!”
Being friends with many New York city ‘foodies’, George was encouraged to get involved in the restaurant world. “I got to know some top-celebrity chefs and food critics and that opened up a passion for the food business and I opened up Pour George in July of 2011.
“We feature delicious seasonal and local food and craft beer, and have a deep library of over 100 whiskeys. I’d like to think we have the best of both the Irish and American pubs.
“Our décor revolves around our working stone fireplace. During the renovation process, we made sure to preserve many of the space’s original materials, including, exposed brick walls and reclaimed wooden beams.
“We also carry all the big sporting events from both sides of the Atlantic, and I sure hope we will be watching Mayo back in the All-Ireland Final in September.”
Although all of George’s family now live in the USA (sisters Caroline and Regina reside in Chicago; brother Kevin in New Jersey and brother Brendan and sisters Gail and Paul in New York), the family still try to get home as often as possible.
“All of my family try and get back to Mayo when we can, and we do have one uncle in Newport – Jack Geraty and his wife Mary.” George has a three-year-old daughter named Aisling with his wife, Jennifer. He is delighted with life in New York at the moment, and he issued a heartfelt invite to any Mayo people in New York this summer to come to Greenwich Village and have a pint or a meal at Pour George.
“Naturally, we love to have visitors from Mayo, and all over Ireland, and I can assure everyone they will get the same welcome as Bono will get when he calls to Pour George soon.”