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« Thursday, August 19th, 2010—Bar 221 | Main | Tuesday, August 17th, 2010—Bar 219 »

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010—Bar 220

Day 220—Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
Desmond's Tavern

I’ve got an update from Mark, the burger bar I went to last Saturday and had a fine meal and some tasty suds. Chef Erik left a comment last night that the record of 18 sliders had been smashed. Chef Erik reports that Scott came in and ate 20 sliders in 22 minutes and is the new slider champ. If anybody thinks they can break this record you get your burgers free if you are the new slider champ. And if you do it on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, let me know and I’ll take pictures and post them up here.

Okay, it was easy picking a bar tonight because I didn’t have to do it. Commentator Al Rizo from Miami suggested I check out Desmond’s Tavern which is one of the oldest taverns in New York City. It’s been an Irish tavern on this block since 1936 and it’s the fouth oldest operating bar in Manhattan. Al’s made suggestions in the past and he hasn’t steered me wrong so far. And the good news is it’s just a few blocks from where I work, and so it’s off to Desmond’s we go.

It was an easy walk to Desmond's Tavern, I didn't even break a sweat.

The welcoming sign inside of Desmond's, a true neighborhood pub.

A dark, well-worn bar. You can feel the sense of history as soon as you walk in the joint.

And Tony, the veteran bartender serves up a Guinness. And as we all know this can only lead to one thing...

The traditional "wearin' of the Guinness." Sláinte!

Andrew was seated next to me at the bar. We talked for awhile and then he told me he lived on 16th Street. I told him that's where I live and it turns out he's my next door neighbor! Just another miracle on the 365 bar crawl! Crazy!

A shot of the well-stocked bar.

There's tables and stools opposite the bar. And what's on those tables? FIRE! (I didn't miss this opportunity, Tim Clack!)

Jermaine was enjoying a cold beer at the bar. He's in town from Atlanta. Cheers, Jermaine and enjoy your stay in New York City!

These people were enjoying the friendly vibes at Desmond's. From left: "Mr. Scott," Sara and Patty. I kind of doubt "Mr. Scott's" name though. I asked him to beam me up and nothing happened.

A mirror shot of the bar.

As I've said before, the sign of a good, old-school bar is pay phones. And here's a twin set of them.

Let's check out the back room.

The back wall is a study in green!

Some pictures hang on the side wall, saturated in green hues.

Backroom neon and an unknowing self-portrait in the mirror.

Meanwhile back at the bar, Tony pours a drink.

A longshot of the well-worn, wooden bar.

Who's this fellow doing the crossword puzzle?

It's Paras, who's a regular at the bar. He told me it's his local and here he poses with bartender Tony.

And finally, these words of wisdom from the bathroom wall: "Rico is a homo." Not that there's anything wrong with that! Goodnight, everybody!

Desmond’s Tavern is a true old school joint and it’s got the years under its belt to be able to make that claim. They’ve been in continuous operation since 1936. When you walk in you’ll find a sturdy, long wooden bar that has served drinkers on this block for over seven decades. The crowd consists of friendly neighborhood locals and the occasional tourist. The bartenders are old-school drink slingers. Desmond’s has served many a bold-faced name in its existence as well. Paul and Linda McCartney, Kevin Costner, Forrest Tucker and Shane McGowan have all been seen enjoying the drinks and old-time atmosphere at the bar. You know it’s an authentic Irish bar when Shane McGowan stops in for a pint or 27. Years ago, actress Veronica Lake was once a waitress here.

The bar is well-stocked and it offers nine beers on draft including a perfectly poured pint of Guinness. They have 14 selections of bottled beer including: Carlsberg, Rolling Rock, Corona and Heineken. There’s also a good selection of Irish whiskeys to choose from here. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm offering pitchers of Yuengling for 11 dollars and $2.50 Miller Lite drafts and Kamikaze shots. They also have live music in the back room Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The large food menu includes a nice variety of sandwiches and an impressive list of nine burgers including; a Bacon Swiss Burger, a Cheddar Burger, a Chili Burger and a California Style Veggie Burger for when Sir Paul stops in.
Full dinner meals include: Desmond’s Hot Sizzling Steak, Beer Battered Shrimp, Bangers and Mash and Fish and Chips.

Desmond’s is open till 4am, every night of the week, so stop by and have a drink in this happily worn and weathered bar. Great suggestion, Al!

Desmond's Tavern
433 Park Ave. South (near 30th St.)

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Reader Comments (34)

Yay, Rico! Hey, this place looks great - I especially love their $2.50 Miller Lite draft special! Huzzah!! Cool ambiance and I'll bet Tony's a great bartender. Sometimes you can just tell. Can't wait to get my ass in to Desmond's! And, psst...Paras...14 across is Jai.

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

To Rico! LOL! Even the graffitti in this place is old school! Great old-time NYC bar. Love the back room shots!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly


August 18, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Thank you Marty,,,,great review, that's what Im talking about,,,a bar with a real bartender. Tony look's the part with a white shirt and a no nonsense look. I just love old school bars, and Desmond's has it all. The way those bottles are stacked up behind the bar is how I like it. The small wooden tables opposite the bar are really cool. The final picture, words of wisdom, from the bathroom, man that is too funny. Remind me of Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy,,,,"call me Rico" not Ratso,, man this picture sure made my day,, can't stop laughing. (I only have one z in my last name,,,ha ha)

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

10 or so years ago I worked for a dot-com right around the corner and spent most every night at this wonderful wonderful spot. My group was there so often that the number for the payphone was on our emergency contact list! Tony still remembers my name on the rare occassion that I make it there. Great place and great review!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

@Al: Thanks for suggesting this place, I had a great time! And I'll put up a Midnight Cowboy clip in honor of Rico!

@Frank: Glad you enjoyed this one and that it brought back some memories.

August 18, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Looks like an awesome joint. I REALLY want to hit this one when I come. Hopefully Rico will be there. ;-)

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

@Aaron: Looking forward to you joining the NYC crawl, I'll send you an email soon.

August 18, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Marty, I swear to God...you ought to have your own show on the history channel! More often than not, 365 is rich in NY history that will never be found in any textbook. @ yesterday's Aussie commentators...I've long been a Steve Irwin fan and I've long been fascinated by Australia's deadlier denizens...real life spy agencies (the CIA included) have considered the venom's of several of Australia's nastier inhabitants for use in their special weapons. You couldn't PAY me to walk along the beach or swim in the ocean near the Great Barrier Reef during warm weather months without a Kevlar wetsuit and Kevlar footwear. Box jellyfish, stonefish, coneshells with their nasty little harpoons and that deadly little blue ring octopus, Jesus, you guys have it all! I vaguely remember some spy movie were the villain dared the good guy to stick his hand in an aquarium with a blue ring octopus, and gave him a graphic description of what would happen to him if he did. Brrr!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

LOL at the rico graffiti! love the green backroom shots. i'm walkin heah! LOL!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

Rico est un homo.
Ha Ha Ha

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

Wow, looks like a bar straight out of the film, "Taxi Driver." Great photos in this one!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHarry Nilsson Fan

@365: Slainte! My old band was called Schlauncher! (same meaning but we had to spell it differently so the punters new how to pronounce it) Had some fucking crazy moments with the band up and down the east coast of Oz. Unfortunately we're no longer a band but myself and the singer still write songs together and gig occasionally.
Here's a low budget video we made...holy shit, almost 10 years ago now...

Great bar this one. Nice and dark and good to see you didn't miss the fire joke. Bartender looks like he's well and truly seasoned.

@Jaws: I made a similar comment in yesterdays post about how dangerous our critters are down here.

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

@Tim Clack: I'll check the video when I get home, YouTube is blocked here at work. I'm anxious to see it. What did you play in the band?

@Anyone who's my boss and there are many: I'm on my lunch break now.

August 18, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

damn...so much to comment on...try to keep it short...wow a llot of green..not a bad thing...suckin' down a heineken 22ozer right now...call 'em dead soldiers when they are empty...another rant another time...could hang at this stop on the crawl for one or twenty-one without a problem...oh yeah might be able to wear a permanent elbow rest into that ol' bar...great stop...tipping one to al...nice call...the "cowboy" clip brought to mind 365 crossing the street when the traffic was stopped for red light and the taxi or citizen driver started honking ...365 starts saying sumting like "where you gonna go the light is red" and the driver responded in some language that 365 did not understand because he did not have his "universal language app"...hell he didn't even have an iphone or ipad ...what a dinosaur..."where the fuck you gonna go=the light is red" and move quickly out of way 'cause he did not know what the eye bulging dude behind the wheel would do ...KOC


August 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

@ Tim Clack and Fitzy; I read both of your comments yesterday, That's what set me off today! Jeez...anything with less than two legs down under or more than four is, in all probability, lethal as hell!! And I've seen videos of Kangaroos beating the holy living crap out of full grown men. From what Fitzy says, even those cute little Koala bears can tear you a new one if you rub them the wrong way. You guys must all have nerves of steel!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@raginrr: Ha ha ha! I forgot about that! Where the fuck was he gonna go?

@Jaws: I think that's why they drink so much, down under. I wish I had some sort of excuse!

August 18, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

wow! I haven't seen a pay phone in a bar [or anywhere else for that matter] in what feels like forever!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@ Paras , what Gang Symbol is that ?

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang Love's ZioumZioum

@Jaws, "nerves of steele" i think a more accurate description is nerves of idiocy....dunno bout Clacky but i grew up out west on the border to the outback & we were very very stupid when it came to deadly shit as kids....i still remember as 11-12 yrs old me & me cousin chasing Browns & Redbelly black snakes thru the paddocks with nothing more than a cricket bat each....at 16-17 me & couz who is 1/2 Maori used to go razorback pig hunting with nothing more than 4-5 pigdogs & a bowie knife...that scared the shit out of me eventually when one razorback boar killed 3 of the dogs then turned on my cousin....lucky the other 2 dogs protected us long enough for me to drag him into the back of the ute....he nearly bleed out on the mad trip back to town/hospital (70klms) one of his tusk wounds was 2mm off his femoral artery, he ended up with some cool scars on his legs after the 117 odd stitches came out....but that "moment" did take the wind out of me sails when i talked to the Doc who patched up my cousin & he lectured me how close it was to loosing me couz....i never went again without a few high powered rifles....

the beach & surf scares me heaps more than anything...i've only lived on the coast/beach for about 15 years & i'm still learning how to read so many different aspects that could be dangerous...the worst for me is scanning the water for those god awefull 3-4m dark shadows that swim under you or may go gliding past.....but hey Jaws ( "Jaws" thats rather ironic haha!), we would'nt trade this awesome country for anything....its a littl' beauty!!!!

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

Beautiful wood! Love that you met your neighbor there :) @Tim, awesome video.

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@Fitzy: I'm coastal born and bred. Still not a big fan of the ocean however. Even the waves are dangerous....obviously why I'm not a surfer. Thats a rough story though.

@365: I playThe 4 strings of Doom + I think the reason we drink so much is because of our high quality selection of beers (and wine....ah Red Wine. It's a different kind of drunk).

@Jaws: It's not that bad in the urban areas but theres still plenty of eight legged freaks lurking, waiting...they're always hungry...It's not to you head out bush. Thats when you've gotta know your shit and keep yr eyes open. And like Fitzy pointed out, have a high powered rifle at your disposal.
@Kari: Rock on \m/

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

@Tim Clack: Great video and good job on the four strings of doom. It's featured down under the review!

August 19, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

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