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« Thursday, February 25th, 2010—Bar 46 | Main | Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010—Bar 44 »

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Day 45—Tuesday, February 23rd
McSorley’s Old Ale House

Remember last week when I took you to Pete’s Tavern and told you it was the oldest tavern in New York?
Well I was online searching for a joint to go to tonight and found another bar making the same claim. McSorley’s Old Ale House has this claim on their website, “Established in 1854 - McSorley's can boast of being New York City's oldest continuously operated saloon.”

Hmm...looks like I’ve got some investigating to do here. Time to put on my investigative journalist hat and get all “60 Minutes” on their ass. Oh wait...I don’t have an investigative hat...aw, fuck it, who cares who’s really the oldest bar, in New York  let’s just go and see what this place is like.

The legendary McSorley's Old Ale House.

It's a rainy Tuesday night and I expected the place to be empty, but the joint is jumping!

Michael and Scotty are the two hospitable and friendly barkeeps on duty for the evening.

And they quickly served me the first of many double McSorley's mugs of delicious ale. Cheers!

Seated at the corner table were Etta and Elsa, I stopped by to raise a glass with them. Their friend Tom kindly took the photo.

The place is loaded with kitschy memorablia and antiques from New York days gone by.

The original beer engine from decades ago.

James was enjoying the cheese and crackers plate and had lots of bar suggestions for the 365 bar crawl. Thanks, James, maybe we'll cross paths again on the crawl.

The nightly food specials at McSorley's.

Jeff and Lee were knocking back mugs at the bar, cheers guys!

The back room is just as lively as the front. Everybody's swilling down their double mugs.

The sawdust on the floor retains the old school workingman's feel of the saloon.

Brendan is one of the table waiters who is handy with the McSorley mugs.

The long wooden bar at McSorley's, where many a mug has spilled ale onto it.

The round wooden tables are loaded with stains, scratches and character.

Keng Liu and Stepanie stopped in for a couple mugs of ale at the bar.

More memorablia and a vintage working fan.

A real wood burning stove in the front room helps warm the joint up.

On my way out I met Olivia and Janet, cheers ladies! And goodnight everybody!


When you order a beer at McSorley’s Old Ale House, you might think you’re seeing double before you take your first swig of brew. That’s because when you order one beer, they bring you two. It’s a tradition that goes back...well, I didn’t really research anything, so it goes back to at least about sixteen years ago when I first wandered into this joint. And it’s only $4.50 for both mugs of beer. If you’re a person who has trouble deciding what kind of drink to order, you’ll have no problem here. The sole selection is McSorely’s light ale or the dark ale. That’s it, no boubon, no vodka, no fruity, rooty-toot drinks in here, just McSorley’s Ale.

The place has been open since 1854 and I don’t think they’ve redecorated or dusted since. Sawdust is scattered on the floor and there’s no stools at the bar. The round tables are stained with decades of spilled ale and have etchings in them. It’s all part of the old world charm that is McSorley’s Old Ale House.

The food’s as simple as the bar. The sandwich selection is ham, liverwurst, cheese or turkey for four bucks a sandwich. They also offer a plate of cheese, onions and saltines. A small plate is three dollars, for a large it’s four bucks. Daily specials such as hash, chili, shepherd’s pie and the soup of the day are featured on the chalk board at the bar. Nothing is going to cost you over ten bucks, making McSorley’s a recession proof bar.

You really can’t say you’re a seasoned bar hound in New York till you’ve tipped a glass or six in McSorley’s. Some of the people who have drank in here through the years are Abe Lincoln, Woody Guthrie and John Lennon. You won’t hear any of Lennon’s music in here though, there’s no music, no jukebox, no frills, just a nice slice of what New York used to look, feel and taste like. Cheers to McSorley’s!

McSorley’s Old Ale House
15 E 7th St (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue)

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    We are having the different types of bars. Numerous bars have a party time to empower off-top support. Bars that fill to limit in some cases actualize an entrance fee or a base buy necessity amid their top hours.
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    It is one of the oldest pub in the new york and they will serve food items like burgers.They are many food items in the menu. I like to visit this place once.
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Reader Comments (16)

Now THAT is a real New York bar! Love it!

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

I LOVE it!!!! and that pic of you with the girl is so awesome..You look very happy and at home in this bar...
I love the keep it simple mentality of two kinds of beers.. my blonde head can deal with that!
and liverwurst sandwiches... wow... that kinda made me look twice...my dad would love that!

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

And don't forget to add Biff to that list! Biff drank there through the years too...or at least once. But since it was McSorley's it counted as twice. Great no-nonsense drinking place. Crowded, noisy, happy - all the things a bar should be! We got to catch the tail end of a Jets v. Cowboys game in there and, although I lost my pick in the pool (fucking Cowboys), I still got enjoy great camaraderie and good-natured ribbing from the guys next door. All blue-collared workers from the Lower East Side and Jersey. I loved this place, even if the beer DID kick my ass! TO MCSORLEY'S!!!!

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

That's right, Biff and I tipped many beers in this joint a few months ago. TO MCSORLEY'S!

February 24, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

This looks like stop number 1 when i get my ass to New York! Love the well worn look! Will be in Nashville for the next 5 days so i wont be online much.....will try to take some pics of my favorite Nashville dives! When i get back and have some time, I will send you the promised package.........No, Its not anything dead or dangerous! Cool Bar.......Cheers!

And a fantastic looking bar it is full of nice people and best of all BEER!

Great choice Marty!!

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

I went there about 18 years ago on their anniversary. There was a line almost a bock long because they celebrated by serving NICKEL beers. I drank for about 3 hours and woke up pretty McSore-ly the next day. I love NY...AND Mc Sorley's.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterI love CUNT TREE music.

TO McSorley's !!!!! I love this place !!!!! Wow! 2 beers for one, that's a pretty good thing !!!! I have to go there !!!! (and get drunk of course!)

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZioum Zioum The Chainsaw


February 24, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

What a great place.
Loaded with character and characters.
(similar nude painting on the wall as one of the others, maybe another of the "oldest" bars?)
My kind of joint. No frills, no bullshit, just all genuine.
Great review Daddio!

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

This place looks like it would be worth driving halfway across the country to visit!

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

After thinking on this for a minute, I remembered the match-up was Dallas v. Philly (fucking Eagles). But those guys were still there. And so were you, Marty. And so were you, Paulie. And so were you, Auntie Em. Sorry for the mix-up - the night was a little fuzzy. What can I say? They forced me to drink two-fisted! TO MCSORLEY'S!

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff


February 24, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

I totally missed the Nude pic.. Had to go back up and find it...Leave it to "Boris" to find that....And to know it was elsewhere....Perve LOL....

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

a fun fact about mcsorley's: they didn't allow women in the bar until 1970!

March 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie

Fantastic bar. The actual bar top is so saturated with beer that it's actually kinda spongy near the taps. Even the pisser in this place says NYC cool.

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeith

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