Daily Mail Atlantic City’s famed Irish Pub has closed for the first time since Hurricane Sandy when a man crashed his car into the bar after being refused a drink. Donald Preston Jr, 50, of Pleasantville, New Jersey was charged with drunk driving after ramming into the historic 111-year-old bar Sunday afternoon. Bartender Jack Dziegrenuk told the Press of Atlantic City that Preston appeared intoxicated when he came into the 24-hour bar around 2:30pm, so he refused to serve him. After that, Preston took off his jacket and placed it on a stool to go to the bathroom. When he came out, he grabbed his jacket and the bartender thought ‘This will be easy on me’ as Preston smiled, waved and walked out the door. But just a few minutes later the bar was shaken by a blast as Preston drove his SUV straight into the building near the front door. ‘It sounded like a bomb pretty much went off,’ manager Tracey Talley told NBC 40. Talley said the drunk driver struck the bar right where a couple was sitting, but they had gotten up just seconds before. Only one patron was injured in the crash, but refused medical attention on the scene. The bar is now closed for the first time since 2012’s Hurricane Sandy since Preston left a gaping hole in the front of the building. The bar’s century-old cherrywood bar was pushed in slightly at the base and its metal guad rail dented. The crash also broke a water pipe.Fellow manager Frank Pileggi told MailOnline that full restoration will take a month or more but they are working to cover the hole in the front temporarily to reopen for business on Thursday or Friday, in time for Super Bowl Sunday. Surveillance footage viewed by the Press of Atlantic City shows Preston leaving the bar and driving his SUV around in circles before taking a turn and barreling into the bar. Mr Pileggi says they have turned the surveillance footage over the police, and are not allowed to release it. The pub’s managers don’t believe Preston did it on purpose, since he asked police ‘Did I do that?’ while being arrested.’I don’t think he was driving into the building. I just think he lost control of the car,’ Ms Talley said. Mr Pileggi says Preston didn’t seem vengeful and there wasn’t a confrontation with the bartender.
I have been to The Irish Pub in Atlantic City several times, it is a pretty dingy old bar which never has any women in it, and is always a good spot to grab a drink down by the boardwalk if you need to get the hell out of the casinos after a long night at the tables. I do have my issues with the Irish Pub, a group of friends and I once arrived in Atlantic City for a bachelor party, and decided to have an early afternoon drink there while we waited for others to arrive. We had a round, and were ordering our second, when the groom made a harmless wisecrack to the bartender. The bartender angrily fired back that the groom was cut off, and while the rest of us were welcome to stay, he would no serve the groom another drink. We all had to leave, but I get the impression that for a dingy old bar in Atlantic City, the Irish Pub is a little full of itself.
Of course, we did not go out into the parking lot, climb in out car and vengefully drive through the side of the building. We went and found another bar, where the staff was not so uptight, and where there were actually chicks. Driving into buildings to get revenge is never a good idea.
P.S. I love how Donald Preston Jr. got out of the car, surveyed the damage, and busted out a Steve Urkel “Did I do that?” He should have followed it up with “Got any cheese?”
P.P.S. It might be time for The Irish Pub to call in Jon Taffer for a Bar Rescue.