‘Black Sheep’ Opens its Doors in Mineola

Wednesday, 5th Oct, 2011

This past weekend patrons of O’Donnell’s Pub in Mineola found themselves entering their favorite establishment under a new name – The Black Sheep Ale House.

A menue at the Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola. Credit: Patrick Runyon, Hofstra

Vince Minutella, who has owned the bar since 2010, said the reason for the name change was to make the establishment more personal, explaining that he picked the new moniker as a reference to his Irish heritage – which included sheep herders. 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 inside, which he lightheartedly said made him the “black sheep of the family.”

When talking about the personalization process Minutella mentioned he wasn’t the “clubbing type,” 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, with his wife Sonia agreeing that “it looks like you.”

While there will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 12 with Mayor Scott Strauss, Minutella, received his craft beer background working at Corxley’s in Manhattan, was eager to start business under the new shingle and opened his door this past weekend.

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.”

At the opening ceremony there was a buffet and live band with approximately 60 people in attendance, many of who frequented the pub before the name change.

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.

According to manager Bob Miller, the bar will continue to offer places to view NFL football games on the HD TV’s as well as “Courthouse Karaoke” and occasional live entertainment from bands.

Primarily advertising the reopening through Facebook, Minutella said he was pleased with the turnout, hoping word of mouth will continue to help attendance.


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