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« Saturday, June 26th, 2010—Bar 167 | Main | Thursday, June 24th, 2010—Bar 165 »

Friday, June 25th, 2010—Bar 166

Day 166—Tursday, June 24th, 2010
Rum House

First off, thanks and a shout out to Fat Al for giving 365 a shout-out about the Subway Inn stop in his blog, “The Half Empty Glass,” that he writes and runs with his fellow contributer anonymous271. Here’s the post: 365 in the Half Empty Glass. Thanks, Fat Al, let me know when you guys want to join the crawl, I’ll buy the first round.

Every year Esquire magazine puts together a list of “America’s Best Bars.” There’s two bars in New York City that made the list this year and one of them (Old Town) I’ve already been to. The other is a place called The Rum House in the Edison Hotel on 47th St. near Broadway. That’s within walking distance from where I work, so let’s go see if Esquire called the right shot here.

Okay down 30th street...

Over to Broadway...

And awaaay we go!

Hello pretzel man.

Hello smiley pretzel man.


Yikes, it feels like last Friday all over again, where the fuck is this hotel?

Whew! Here we are. Now where's the bar?

Right next door, and it looks promising.

Nice and dark inside and it has the feel of the old Times Square. Nice choice, Esquire! I'll renew my subscription.

Francisco is a true gentleman and an excellent old-school bartender. And he knows the secret way to hold the 365 Bar Crawl card. Not too many people are clued into this.

Part time waiter, Steve told me the bar is struggling to exist, with rising rents and other bills bars face. Stop in here and have some drinks and let's help this place survive. It's one of the last worthwhile watering holes in Times Square.

Free pretzels!

A great tin bartop.

There's tables in the back.

Mary and Brian work down the street and said it would suck if the place closes.

The crowd here is a nice mix of friendly locals and tourists.

Francisco hard at work.
Meanwhile, back at the bar I met Martin, who was visiting New York from Ireland.

Then Joan and Lasse stopped in. They're a fun couple visiting from Denmark. The beers are really starting to flow now, along with good conversation. Tonight is one of the great night's on the old crawl.

John and John (could it be that I've drank so much at this point I'm hearing double?) join the party.

Another great night meeting and hanging out with new friends from all over the globe on the Bar Crawl! Goodnight, everybody!

Okay, since I got the idea to go here from Esquire, I’ll reprint their review (this way I don’t have to write one!)


The Rum House at Hotel Edison, New York

You're having: Scotch, rocks

When I'm in New York, I often ask to meet people at my favorite dark bar, a place called the Rum House that fronts the Hotel Edison on 47th Street. Not because it has a good jukebox (it does), or because the drinks are remarkable (they are not), or because it's an old-timey Times Square haunt. I like it because the windows in the Rum House face north, toward the cold cavern of a midtown cross street, hugged as they are on either side by heavy curtains. Because passers-by tent their brows and press the glass for a look at the guts of the place, which the darkness does not yield.

Because when I get there early and let my eyes adjust, I always get the first long look at the blinking and uncertain face of whosoever I am meeting. The place gives me options while they search the darkness. I can stand, or I can wave them over to where I sit, or I can wait until they recognize who I am and where we are. —Tom Chiarella


Esquire, you made the right call on the Rum House, one of Manhattan’s finest and a dying breed of a bar. Good review Tom, but I had a Beer, bottle; about seven of them. Cheers!

Rum House
228 W. 47th St. (Near Broadway)

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Reader Comments (25)

A great stop along the way.
Funny how one night you search a few
(and end in a good way thanks to Robin)
and the next night it all just falls into place from the moment you walk through the door.
A nice slice of old school and sadly an endangered species.
Here is hoping that people will support The Rum House and keep tradition alive.
Love the tin bartop.
Reminds me of that place in "Seinfeld" where Jerry ran into Kenny Bania.
I'm sure Kenny would say this place is "the best!"

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Marty, thanks for the mention. Another great post about a classic bar. We would definitely love to join the crawl some night (I might have to wear a funny nose and glasses for any pics though).

I hate to be the bearer of sad news, but it looks like the Rum House's days are numbered:

Rum House Closing

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

I agree with Boris,,,a great bar and the wood all over the place is what old school New York is. I hope the place can generate a following because those old bars are like stuck in a wonderful time warp, and new bars are not being built like a church anymore. The tin bartop and Francisco drawing a tap wearing a shirt and tie,,,,hey thats the New York I like.

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Fat Al and everyone: What a sad story! Stop by and drink at this joint! Let's try and keep it in business! Send me an email, Fat Al and we'll hang out on the crawl, funny nose and glasses are welcomed here!

June 25, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

This from the article that Fat Al linked to:

"There are rumors that they're going to gut the place and make it shiny, and update it and brighten it up."

Brighten it up? FUCK!

June 25, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Enjoy places like The Rum House and cherish them while you can and keep them in business as long as you can with a stop over once in a while, for the forces that be won't be happy until the whole planet is one big strip mall, and God help us all...it looks like they're winning. So sad.

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

That really does look like a fantastic bar. I hope it doesn't have to struggle to survive much longer. It would be sad to see a place like this get closed down.

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

They won't be happy till Manhattan is one big lit up Disneyland. Looks like you made some nice friends in there! To the Rum House!

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly


June 25, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Fuck "Shiny Happy People!"
It's "The Best!"

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Dark wood and plaid, I'm sold! Too bad Martin wasn't wearing a kilt, yummy! Beautiful place very sad that more people don't appreciate that. If I wasn't 2,000 miles away I'd pop in and give them some business.

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

Yaay Rum House!!!

Yaay Marty!!

Yaay Joan, Lasse, and Martin!! Welcome to America, it is such a pleasure to have you here!

What a neat place the Rum House looks like. I love the decor, the friendly staff and patrons. Great Choice Esquire Mag and Great Choice Marty!!!

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

Oh! Manatthan is not completly Disneyland yet !!! shit I thought!! ;) Is Barfly means they can do worst??!! LOL :D
So sad to see this kind of place that desapears, and this all around the world :( But it's up to us to continue to support them. The only right vote is still to vote with the wallet. As long as people gives their money to big institutions, they will use this money to destroye the few cool things we have... Pfffff Fuck disneyland!! I hate that Jesus hole mickey anyway !!! Viva la re-evolution! Zeitgeist the spirit of the times !!


I like the fact that the bar that fronts the Hotel Edison is dimly lit. And, speaking of Tom Alva, if genius really is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, then this summer should produce one heckuva lot of smart people. I hope some of them put their heads together and figure out a way to keep the Rum House running. It's a gem. TO THE RUM HOUSE!

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff


June 25, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

"THE RUME HOUSE!!!".... cheers!......

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

shit!..... did a Francisco...."THE RUM HOUSE!"....cheers!

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

reading your blog is like being a bariatric patient who just had their stomach stapled shut being sat in front of a buffet. Oh how I wish I could go to the bar and not study.....

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzRocks

@SuzRocks....could'nt agree more!......

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

@SuzRocks: I confess, I had to Google "bariatric." I learned a new word! Who knew this blog would be a learning experience as well as an excuse to get shitfaced every night? Thanks, and I'm glad you're enjoying it.

June 25, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

I learned something new today also ... the secret way to hold the 365 Bar Crawl card ! I can probably amaze some Afghan nationals with that ?

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

THE RUM HOUSE looks to be a great place to hang...it's damn sad to read the rumour of it's possible future...thanks to 365 we were able to "visit" this fine establishment before it's possible demise...@365 didn't really memorize "99"...it's just when i see things thoughts pop into my head...ted' steaks sign generated "WOW" baked potato and if you order the "big one" your order might take a longer serve time...KOC


June 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Yesterday at work was to busy to even take my laptop out of my bag to set it up , & I haven't drank coffee yet , & ZioumZiuom is still sleeping , so all I can say is Cheers .

TO: The Rum House !!

Do they have Mamawanna shots ?

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