Fire at McSwiggan’s

9/10/2008 Update:

It’s been almost three months since we last checked in with the reconstruction of McSwiggan’s and there is plenty of progress to report. Brand new scarlet awnings have been installed, most of the interior work of the bar is complete, and chairs are stacked up and ready for patrons. They’ve also painted the shingles over the first street window and entrance red this time, though it looks like a second coat of paint or stain may be in order.


The new McSwiggans will offer a wider variety of food, according to Furey who go a look at the menu:

“Looks like some of your typical bar food choices (burgers, wings, chicken fingers, steak sandwich), along with “across the pond” choices of Fish & Chips and the similar stuff. I hate to use the word “upscale”, but reading over the menu I was very much interested in trying some of these out. Word on the street is that they are in a holding pattern until they get their inspections completed and have some finishing touches to complete. No official word on the opening, but my educated guess using the Hoboken411 H.A.T.T. system says to me that it could be up to a month.”

Looks like the new McSwiggan’s will also include a greater emphasis on outdoor seating with the new doors on the Bloomfield Street side. If they are not careful we can expect to hear complaints from neighbors in that area who will take the very short walk over to City Hall to lodge their complaints. Hopefully that won’t be neccessary.

How excited are you about the impending return of McSwiggan’s? Post your thoughts below.


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6/17/2008 Update:

Exterior work nearly complete

The rising of McSwiggans from the ashes has been a remarkably quick process considering the amount of changes made to the structure rebuilt from what was a partially destroyed shell just six months ago. With the scaffolding now down the extent of the building redesign can be seen. A new stone wall with what are likely to become large doors is on the Bloomfield side of the building with a very nice new stained glass feature. The building was practically rebuilt standing up brick-by-brick, and many details have been altered, including the shapes of the window surrounds. Look closely and you’ll see a new, additional stack of windows on the western wall.

What’s the secret to such a quick rehab? Is it the proximity to the Construction Code office right across the street at City Hall? The contractors and architects? Whatever it is Applied Housing should find out, because the 12th and Washington fire site remains well behind McSwiggans when it comes to rebuilding, and many people in Yellow Flats have suffered because of the delays.


3/7/2008 Update:

The rebuilding of McSwiggan’s is moving very rapidly. Much of the front brickwork has been removed and replaced with cinder block, and there is once again a roof on the building.

Now if only all projects in Hoboken can move along with such efficiency.

hoboken mcswiggans rebuilding - Fire at McSwiggan's


Cigarette butt caused McSwiggan’s Fire

Acting Hoboken Fire Chief Richard Blohm said today that a cigarette butt set some cardboard boxes on fire, which led to the destruction of the building.

As owner Aidan Boyle had already told Hoboken411, the bar staff tried extinguishing the fire themselves, which delayed the arrival of the fire department. The cardboard boxes were under the stairwell, which because of the draft, drew the fire upwards, spreading the fire rapidly.

Couple questions: Is careless smoking something that can nullify an insurance policy? Who was responsible for this fire? A bartender? Patron?

Sounds pretty stupid, considering it wasn’t a long walk to go outside to grab a smoke.


A little update, and some clarification.

  1. Tara mentioned to me that The Shannon will be open today. They’re collecting donations in the form of clothes, supplies and money for the victims of the fires.
  2. Also, I may have worded my previous update poorly, but Tara wanted to make sure that any fundraiser held at The Shannon is for the fire victims, and not for repairs to her building. My apologies if it came across that way.

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1/7/2008 4:13pm Update:

Spent some time at the fire scene today, see some pictures here, and the previous submissions after the jump.

Spoke with Aiden Boyle, the owner of the bar and building and told him about the donations we’re collecting here. He told me he was heavily insured, and doesn’t need the help. Also, he believes most residents had insurance, but he’s not 100%. In the meanwhile, any donations, clothing, supplies or anything else you can think of, can be dropped off at the Dubliner.

He thanks all the readers for their support.

Additionally, spoke with Tara Whelan from The Shannon, and her building next door also received some considerable water and smoke damage. They had to smash the skylights and tear a huge hole in the roof. The Shannon will probably have a fundraiser in the next week or so.

12:24pm Update:

See comment section for some additional photos.

5:39am Update:

Here’s a photo set sent in by Hoboken resident Halley Wolowiec.

1:50am Update:

Hoboken, Jersey City and now some Union City personnel are coming to help relieve exhausted city firefighters. Fire is continuing in various areas of the building.

See comment section for latest updated.

1:14am Update:

No injuries yet.. but a dog was rescued… they say “fire isn’t under control yet, but most of it is..”,

“No visible fire.. but strong heat on the 2nd floor..”

“Fire crawled along the ceiling in the middle of the bar”

“It’s coming out of the baseboard on the second floor! It’s underneath us!”

“Chase the fire.. check for extensions…”

1/7/2008 1:05am:

Reports of fire at McSwiggan’s at 1st and Bloomfield.

“Heavy smoke conditions”

“People on fire escape, send backup”

hoboken fire mcswiggans january 7 2008 final splash - Fire at McSwiggan's

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[quote comment=”104902″]in the last 10 years ive only been in trinity, court st, o’nieals, and the madison twice, how is that for brand loyalty[/quote]

is it brand loyalty or ocd?


in the last 10 years ive only been in trinity, court st, o’nieals, and the madison twice, how is that for brand loyalty


Mmmm olive oil.

I’ve been unfortunate enough to meet the “driving mommy’s bmw” type at McSwiggins. I was 25, new to town, and had no idea what I was getting into going there. Pre-fire, I didn’t set foot in there on the weekends.


Re. 762, I agree. I never had a problem with McSwiggan’s but I would only go during the week or on Sunday for the occasional Irish breakfast. Nice pool table and decent jukebox as well.

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McSwiggans had a good local crowd during the week – come Friday and Saturday you got the out of town, spiked hair, I’m driving my mom’s BMW crowd. But during the week, it was a great place to grab a couple beers and hang out and watch sports, play pool, and chat with the bartenders.