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« Monday, July 19th, 2010—Bar 190 | Main | Saturday, July 17th, 2010—Bar 188 »

Sunday, July 18th, 2010—Bar 189

Day 189—Saturday, July 17th, 2010
Blarney Stone
on Third
Alright, it’s request day today, which I love because It means I don’t have to pick the bar. A while back I got an email from Mark Smimmo suggesting that I stop at the Blarney Stone on Third Avenue. He told me to ask for Caroline whom he said was the best barmaid in the city. And so, it’s off to the Blarney Stone we go. It's just that easy.

It's Saturday, so we'll take a leisurely walk to the place.


This old school shoe and watch place is a nice antidote for what we last saw.

And after a long, sweaty walk, here we are at the original Blarney Stone bar.

Lots of specials dot the lime green colored entrance.

Okay, to quote the Talking Heads, this must be the place.

Yvonne and Maggie were the two pretty and friendly bartenders on duty.

Caroline wasn't on duty, but she was enjoying drinks at the end of the bar. When I asked if I could take her picture, Caroline said no, but she did ask me to say hi to "Big Mark." So hi from Caroline, "Big Mark." And cheers to the late, great, Andy. "Smirnoff and water, NO FRUIT!" She remembered that Mark and it brought a smile to her face.

And how funny is this, the first person I meet is named Mark as well. This guy has been a regular for close to a year and was like a tour guide for me, introducing me to some of the regulars and showing me how the bar works and how the different areas house different people.

Mark poses with his grandfather, Tommy who's been perched on a barstool here for over 36 years.

Mark explained the division of the bar to me. The front area is the horse betters who bet in the neighboring OTB and watch the results on the TV's in the front of the bar.

The middle of the bar is friendly regulars and as you get to the right end, it gets a little rough. Mark is right about this, I asked a guy at the end of the bar if I could take a picture and it looked like he wanted to punch me in the mouth. I quickly retreated to the middle before my camera got smashed.

Mark told me the tables were mainly filled with tourists and first-timers to the Blarney Stone.

Here's a list of beers available and as you can see, you won't go broke drinking in here.

Alright, it's cheeseburger Saturday night and it's time to eat.

And master chef Julio is happy to grill me up some sliders.

Here he proudly displays the finished product. They look delicious.

And they are, I love cheeseburger Saturday night!

Mark's brother Jeff joins the party.

Jeff's got an ipad and everyone checks out the 365 Bar crawl.

Shit, I forgot to write down this guy's name. He's a great musician and a friend of Mark's. Mark if you're reading this, please leave his name in the comments section and I'll update this. UPDATE: I just got a comment from Pablo that this fine musician's name is Paulivio.

Yvonne serves up a special Blarney shot of whiskey on the house. This thing is huge, equal to about three ounces.

So of course I decide to down it in one gulp.

Bomb's away!

Wow, that was rough! The sliders about slid back the wrong way.

I think I'll survive though.

Feeling better and back to the beer.

Goodnight everybody!

There’s a lot of Blarney bars in Manhattan. There’s Blarney Stones, Blarney Rocks and a Blarney Cove on 14th Street which I plan on visiting in a daytime episode of this bar crawl, but that’s another story and another bar crawl. The Blarney Stone on Third is the original Blarney bar. It’s a definitive working class bar and the crowd is varied and changes with the hours. In the daytime regulars bet at the neighboring OTB parlor and then watch the races on the TV. The bartenders are Irish, pretty and friendly and as nightime draws the crowd includes construction workers, local plumbers, suits from nearby office buildings, tourists and the grizzled regulars who never seem to leave the joint. Christmas lights intermingle with shamrocks over the bar and the beer flows freely.

There’s a good selection of bottled and draft beers and the prices are happy hour styled with pints running between $2.50 to $3.50 all day and all of the night to quote Ray Davies. The steam tables up front feature home-styled meals such as roast turkey and stuffing, baked ham, brisket of beef and meat loaf. All the meals include potato and vegetables and are served up in genuine Styrofoam buckets. There’s a large selection of sandwiches and the cheeseburgers are grilled to perfection before your very eyes.

There’s a lot of pretenders to the Blarney Stone name, but this is the real deal.

Blarney Stone
710 Third Ave (Between 44th and 45th Street)

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Reader Comments (18)

Another blue collar Irish classic, Marty. Something tells me Archie Bunker would have been right at home there.

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Love the pics of Mark watching you down the shot. Priceless. Looks like a happy place, as long as you don't wander to the back. Hmmm, kinda like the Irish I know.

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

A great bar on the crawl! Beer, cheeseburgers and pretty bartenders, who could ask for anything more!

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

i agree with kari, i love the look on marks face as you down the shot! LOL!

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

This is me & Terry's kind of place ... and OTB next door to a bar where you can watch the races ? ... awesome ! Some of the Blarney Stone's have "Quick Draw" ... a lottery game that we also love playing. In Maryland, and I think most other places -- it's called "Keno". Does this Blarney have Quick Draw ?

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@GENE: I don't think they do, but you and the other BBC would love it here!

July 18, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Marty, those pics of you taking the shot were awesome! I love the last one where you are trying to ease the whiskey down your chest. Ahhh the sweet sweet burn of Irish whiskey.

I also like that there is an OTB next door, that's old school, those places seem to be dissapearing. Great bar and great review, I only wish there were more "tour guides" like Mark to help you learn the ins, outs, ups, and downs, of these bars.


July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTheChief

a three oz. "shot"...yeah...KOC


July 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Now this is more like it. What a turnaround from the Oak, now for ten bucks you can drink three nice beers, that's my kind of bar. That Barney whiskey shot can get you plastered quickly, and Maggie, you look sweet. Mark and Grandfather, in a bar together, that's America, that is how you teach a youngster like Mark about people and getting along and socializing,,,getting him ready for the next 36 years,,,,good bar.

July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

photos are so fun, marty!!!!

@Gene : we have Keno in France too !!!!! in bars we call "PMU" that's a kind of bar specialized in games & bets

Great photos. This bar is true to form. Down to earth, decent atmosphere and there's nothing superficial about the place. Yvonne & Maggie are my friends and as bartenders they are top notch. Once you complete the crawl, start again but start at the Blarney Stone. Best of Luck.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCorey C.

You should of did a video of that 3oz shot , that looked awesome & would of even better if some sliders came out to greet us .

I worked around the corner on 45th Street from 1982 to 1991. This was my second home. Hasnt changed much since then. Best pastrami sandwiches from the steam table. Oh and on Friday nights the hookers from McCann's (3rd avenue bet. 43rd & 44th sts.) used to come in and play pocket pool with some of the guys and try to lure them back to McCann's for a quickie in the back room. Oh how crack changed the ways of the streetwalkers.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBaBaBooey.

Seems like Blarney Stone has just about everything I need and I'm thinking of retiring there. What kind of whiskey did they give you? Was it Powers? I'm told that, being a good bit Irish myself, it's the only type I'm allowed to drink. But it nearly killed me once. And I only had one gulp.

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: I'm not sure, but it nearly killed me too, so maybe it was Powers.

July 19, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Looks like a great place to hang!!

July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

The musician's name is Paulivio.

July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPablo

Thanks Pablo! I'll update it now.

July 24, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

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