Friday, June 25th, 2010—Bar 166
Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:16AM
365 Beers in Classic NYC Bars, Rum House

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)

Article originally appeared on 365 Bars (
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