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Entries in Irish bars in NYC (4)


Friday, November 12th, 2010—Bar 306

Day 306—Thursday, November 11th, 2010
Paddy Reilly's Music Bar

Tonight features more guest stars on the old bar crawl. Gene Rubbico is a regular commentator here and part of a bar-crawling team I’ve dubbed, the BBC (Baltimore Bar Crawlers.) The BBC consists of Gene, his wife Smoopy and their friend, Terry. They spent three days last May with me on the bar crawl before Gene had to go to Afghanistan for a tour of duty for the Air Force Reserve. Well, thankfully Gene has returned safely and tonight the BBC are back in town. And I’ve let them pick the bar and they picked Paddy Reilly's Music Bar on 29th and Second Ave. We were originally going to meet around 11:00pm but a dirty little four letter word known as “work” got in the way and it’s almost one in the morning. But being the troopers they are and despite they’ve already visited over 87 bars and had 3,763 drinks between the three of them, they agreed to join me on tonight’s bar crawl. So let’s go say hi to the BBC!

And here we are at 29th and Second Avenue, Paddy Reilly's. Let's step inside.

The bar's crowded up front, but I see some spots at the back.

I find my way back and the lovely bartender Raylene serves me up a perfectly poured pint of Guinness.

A long shot of the long wooden bar.

There's tables up front and peanuts!

They feature live music here and on Thursday's they have jam sessions. Here's some Irish musicians jamming away.

The M.C. and man in the middle and blue shirt is Niall O'Leary. Check out his website here: Irish Business Organization of New York.

Here's Patricia and Jennie who were enjoying the music. Patricia has an Irish dance fitness class that she teaches, check it out here: Celtic Cardio.

And speaking of Celtic cardio, Jenni hops on the wooden dance floor and dances along with the band.

And then Patricia joins in. It's getting lively in here!

And getting caught up in the spirit of things, Niall throws down his spoons and joins in on this impromptu Irish jig.

And the three end up dancing together for the night's closing song. Cue up applause:

Okay, that was fun, but where the hell are the BBC?

Why they're right here! Reunited and it feels so good!

And Terry and Gene join me for a trifecta of the "Wearin' of the Guiness." Three Stooges eat your heart out. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!


And look who else shows up, Clacky and Shannon with the one-fingered salute.

The ABC (Australian Bar Crawl) meets the BBC (Baltimore Bar Crawl) in a showing of international boozing friendship via the 365 day bar crawl.

Clacky and Gene discussing a shared love of the music of AC/DC.

Terry relaxes in the back and flashes the 365 card.

And here's the whole crew, cheers and goodnight, everybody!

Okay, even though I had to work late last night I have to try to get in early today, so once again I’m going to slack and post a review from New York Magazine.


Supposedly, Paddy Reilly's was the first and only all-Guinness draft bar in the world. Today they have nothing on tap except Guinness, Bud and Bud Light. Furthering the Emerald Isle pride, this Irish pub also has Celtic rock on weekends. Dying to show off your uilleann pipe skills? Wednesdays and Saturdays are open-mic; if you’re feeling shy, stop by on Friday to see the house band, the Prodigals.

Thu, 8pm-1am, traditional-oriented Irish music; Sun, 1pm-4pm and 5pm–10pm, and Mon, 7pm-11pm, bluegrass performers; Fri, 8pm-10pm and 11pm-2am, and Sat, 11pm-2am, Celtic rock bands.

Daily, 11am-7pm; $3 domestic drafts, $4 imports, $5 Guinness drafts, $5 well drinks


Paddy Reilly's Music Bar
519 Second Ave. (@29th St.)


Bonus Video!

Gene shot this video of the Irish dancers at Paddy Reilly's Music Bar. Enjoy!


Saturday, August 28th, 2010—Bar 230

Day 230—Friday, August 27th, 2010
Flannery's Bar

Before we start the crawl tonight, I was summoned over to Mark Burger Bar on St. Mark's Place. Their slider eating competition has gotten up to 20 sliders and I told Chef Eric to call me if there's a competitor coming over to try and break the standing number. Well, he said tonight someone was coming at 8pm, so I decided to take my dinner break and check it out. So it's off to Mark we go.

Here we are back at Mark Burger Bar.

Trevor tried to beat the record a few hours earlier, but only made it to 11 sliders. A noble try though. Trevor has a website devoted to food and you can check it out here: Burgasm.

Here's Chef Eric and Angie in the background. It's 8pm and the challenger is supposed to be here. Hopefully he'll show up soon, as I'm on my dinner hour.

The son of a bitch never showed up! So 20 is still the number to beat. If you think you can do it, let me know and I'll show up and document it.

So now it's on with the crawl. Okay, I’m in my typical burned-out Friday mood. I’m not in much of a bar-crawling mood, so I’m going to go to a classic Irish bar called Flannery's that’s just three blocks from where I live. Hopefully it won’t be packed to the gills, but if it is, it is. It’s about a fifteen minute walk from where I work, so set your stopwatches and time me. And awaaaay we go.

All we do is walk down Seventh Avenue...

And within fifteen minutes, here we are.

And look at this, a prime seat right at the front of the long dark wooden bar.

And Mike the bartender is quick on the draw with an ice-cold beer. Mike's one of the friendliest bartenders I've met on the bar crawl, a great guy!

He even invited me to join him behind the bar for a photo.

Jake and Grimm were enjoying drinks at the end of the bar. Cheers, guys!

Here's Alexis, Grimm and Lauren. They were in the bar celebrating Lauren's birthday. Happy birthday, Lauren!

As you can see, the bar is hopping tonight.

Obligatory barroom mirror shot.

A longshot of the top of the bar.

A wooden railing and stools run along the perimeter of the opposite side of the bar.

The middle room of he bar is devoted to one thing...

Darts! There's five dart boards in here and they are in constant use.

I had to use the flash in the back room, because it's so dark back here. Wooden booths line the walls and there's tables back here as well.

This is where Steve the DJ programs and pumps out the tunes for the evening.

Meanwhile, back at the bar...

Mike approaches me and asks if I'd like to try a Guinness.

I happily accept the offer and he pours...

And serves a perfectly poured pint of Guinness. This can only lead to one thing...

The traditional wearin' of the Guinness. Sláinte!

Bartender John was working the other end of the bar, here he is with Mike.

Cheese it, it's the cops! Goodnight, everybody!

There’s hundreds of cookie-cutter, pre-fabricated “Irish bars” in New York City, but Flannery’s is the real thing. It’s been a fixture on 14th Street for over twenty years now. The front of the bar is decked out with large French windows, that when opened in the warmer months give the front of the  bar a bit of a beer garden feel. The bar itself is long and wooden and there’s wooden tables and chairs to the side and in the back to lounge at. The bartenders are super-friendly Irishmen who know how to pour a slow Guinness pint. The patrons range from working class stiffs to suits unwinding after a tough day at the office to people drinking their unemployment checks away. Throw in a tourist or two and it’s a lively crowd. Their motto is, "Come as a stranger, leave as a friend,” and they stay true to that.

There’s a full bar with a good selection of draft and bottled beers, and of course there’s Guinness on tap. Happy hour runs from Monday to Friday with drink specials on beer and cocktails.

There’s DJ’s on the weekends and about once a month Flannery’s has live music.
It’s also a bar that’s big on darts, there’s five dart boards and Wednesday is the “Luck of the Draw” dart tournament night. Drink specials and cash prizes go out to the winners. Patrons can also participate in tournaments with teams from other bars. Stop in and find out how. But have a Guinness or three first.

Flannery's Bar
205 W. 14th St. (Near Seventh Ave.)


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.)