Jan. 26, 2024 By Laura Dorgan
Where everybody knows his name.
Hundreds of Queens residents packed into Donovan’s Pub in Woodside on Wednesday to shake hands and down some ales some with renowned actor Kelsey Grammer.
Grammer, 68, best known for his role as Dr. Frasier Crane in the hit-TV series “Frasier,” was at the Woodside staple on Roosevelt Avenue to promote his brewing company—Faith American Brewing, which is based in Margaretville in upstate New York within the Catskills.
Grammer, whose character Frasier first appeared on the TV series “Cheers,” was in jovial form and made his way around the establishment for photos and selfies with diners. He then made his way to the packed bar area shaking more hands and autographing posters and signs for his devoted fans.
A chant of “Kelsey Kelsey” also broke out while cans of Faith American Brewing ale were passed around and divvied out to patrons. Meanwhile, the Thomas G. Waites Band blasted out folk rock, Americana music. The band is headed by Thomas G. Waites who is also an actor and a friend of Grammer’s.
Dan Connor, who co-owns the bar with his brother-in-law Jimmy Jacobson, said that Grammer has been going around to bars to promote his company.
“My brother-in-law…ran into him at a cigar bar in Woodhaven during one of his promotions and connected with his people and said ‘hey come on down and see Woodside, see the legendary Donovan’s Pub… And it is a mad house here tonight.”
The label on the Faith American Brewing ale cans features a picture of green fields and mountains in the Catskills, where the company brews its alcoholic beverages.
“I’m drinking his Faith American ale,” Connor said. “It’s a really easy beer to drink, a nice easy crisp beer, 16-ounce cans,” Connor said.
“We’re carrying this and the Blue Hazy IPA right now.”
Patrons were very impressed with the brew.
“It’s got a nice malty backbone, a little bit of bitterness from the hops… a fine American ale,” said Scott Graham, who lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “I’d give it an 8.2 out of 10, I like it.” @CRAFTPUNKNYC
‘We’re also big Frasier fans so we wanted to come and check it out and we hope to go to his brewery, so this was our chance to try out the beer.”
Nicole Cebrian, who said she’s not a big ale person fan, said she was impressed with the brew too.
“I like it, I like something a bit more citrusy but its still really good.”
She said that she is also a big Frasier fan and it’s her “comfort show.”
Donovan’s Pub has a long history in Woodside. It first opened in 1966 when Joe Donovan and his father bought the establishment that was previously a pub called The Clover Leaf.
Connor and Jacobson, both of whom were raised in Woodside, bought the bar from Joe Donovan about 10 years ago when the pub appeared to be in danger of closing for good. It almost shuttered during the pandemic also and a GoFundMe started by a regular patron helped generate enough cash to help the bar stay on its feet.
“We bounced back really well thank God we got a lot of assistance form the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the New York Mets and our community stepped up beyond belied to support us and they got us through those really dark times, those really tough times and they’re support us now and we’re doing really well thank God,” Connor said.
Tom Grech, the president & chief executive officer of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, who was in attendance said: “It’s really nice that Kelsey came here. It’s really good to be here.”
“They’re back and they’re booming,” Grech said, referring to the pub. “The people, the staff, the workers, the artifacts are what makes Donovan’s so special, the history, the owners, it’s awesome.”