McSorley’s Irish Taven

McSorley’s Old Ale House-Irish Tavern

McSorleys.Sign

Last year for my birthday, my son’s, Keith and Ryan, took me to McSorley’s Old Ale House. I thought it fitting that for St. Patrick’s Day I share a little about New York City’s oldest Irish Tavern in New York City.  Situated in lower Manhattan, in the East Village, where in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s many Irish immigrants who fled the “potato famine” in Ireland settled.

McSorleys-Old-Ale-House.Front View. 3.15.18

 

McSorley’s Old Ale House  

 

Established in 1854, McSorley’s is recognized as the City’s oldest and still operating Tavern.  Some day’s, especially on weekends, it is nothing to stand in line and wait for an hour just to get in, as the inside of McSorley’s is very small, typical of the bars of yesteryear.  Besides me, everyone from Abe Lincoln to John Lennon have passed thru McSorley’s swinging doors. Woody Guthrie, with his guitar in hand, inspired the union movement from a table in the front tables of the bar. Walking along the “saw dust floors” one can feel the history that McSorley’s has shared with its customers for the past 164 years. 

McSorleys.Mugs of Beer.watermarked

So pour yourself a mug of beer, and join me, as I take you through my experience at McSorley’s through the many pictures I took.

McSorleys.PammywBeer.jpg

As one walks in, and steps through the “sawdust” floors, they are greeted by the Irish barmaids and waiters, who are more than willing to make your visit memorable. The walls are filled with much historical paraphernalia, artwork, and  newspaper articles, many dating back to 1854, which gives McSorley’s an atmosphere that many consider reminiscent of “Olde New York.”  No piece of memorabilia has been removed from the walls since 1910, and there are many items of “historical” paraphernalia in the bar, such as Houdini’s handcuffs, which are connected to the bar rail.  As you can see from the pictures below, they still use the original Cash Register and Beer Taps from 1854!

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A view behind McSorley’s Tavern

 

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The Original Cash Register & Beer Taps from 1854 

 

I also took this picture of Jack Dempsey, one of McSorley’s regulars, during his reign as the World’s Boxing Champion during the 1920’s.

McSorleys.Pic of JackDempsey

 

Signed Picture of Jack Dempsey  

 

 

So while drinking our beers, we dined on their “Irish” speciality of Cheddar Cheese, Crackers, served with their spicy mustard (I guess giving one the incentive to keep drinking!!!).

McSorley.Cheese.Crackers

 

McSorley’s famous Cheese Platter 

 

With a treasure trove of New York City History filling the walls, what really caught my eye and attention were the very dust-laden wish bones hanging over the bar.  Apparently the “Wishbones” hanging above the bar were hung there by many of the young men going off to World War I, only to be removed when they returned, the remaining wishbones that are still hanging to this day, are from those who never returned.

McSorleys.Wishbones.watermarked 3.1.17

 

Wishbones left by Soldiers from WWI  

 

As noted by this sign, one of McSorley’s original motto’s was “Be Good or Be Gone”!

McSorley.BigGood.BeGone 3.18.18

It was finally dark when we left and took a walk around the East Village, at the corner was the sign for St. Mark’s Place. I had to take this picture, as growing up I spent every weekend hanging out on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village.  If you are old enough to remember, the “Electric Circus” it was on St. Mark’s Place. Of course those days will have to wait for a different Blog of my life!!

McSorleys.StMarksPl sign

Thanks to Keith and Ryan for making my Birthday, which was in November, a very memorable Irish experience!!!

McSorleys.Painting 1912-McSorley's_Bar.JohnSolan.artist

 

1912 Painting of McSorley’s – artist, John Sloan

 

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

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About Pamela Baker

For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in various crafts. After crocheting for many years, recently I started designing OOAK jewelry pieces, always learning new techniques as I continued. I also have always loved to write, so I look forward to being a part of this Blog as one it's contributors. As a lifelong resident of NY, I am busy with my two shops on Etsy: MagdaleneJewels (OOAK designed jewelry items: Necklace,Bracelets, Earrings,rings): also, MagdaleneKnits (Crocheted & Knitted items for Newborns to Adults) I can also be found on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Word Press, YouTube. My Blogs are: http://pamelabaker.wordpress.com/wp-admin/users I also intend to bring tutorials to help you develop your Shops more effectively to increase your Views and Sales on the various mediums you may be selling your work on. I am always a convo or email away if you have any specific questions I can help you with.
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6 Responses to McSorley’s Irish Taven

  1. jeweleddesigns says:

    Read every word. So interesting, Pam. What a fabulous birthday treat. Thank you for sharing…Nancy Anderson

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jeweleddesigns says:

    Forwarding this to my friend who lost her husband a year ago. He was an Irish New York native who visited his New York family at least once a year with always a visit to the city. I can’t imagine he and my friend did not visit this historic place. Nancy Anderson

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pamela Baker says:

      Thank you Nancy – I really had a great time, even nicer sharing it with my boys! It was almost like stepping into another era with all history within its walls! You have to tell your friend that McSorley’s should definitely be on his list on his next visit to NYC.

      Like

  3. Pretty Gonzo says:

    This blog post is so cool! You give your reader a great idea of what McSorley’s is like, and how rich in tradition it is. I was really touched by the wishbones under their old, old dust. Someday I’m going to have to get to the city again and finally check out McSorley’s. (Of course, will hit Pete’s Tavern too … my old haunt.) Great photos! Thanks for letting me know about this. Now I’ll share and let others know! xoxo from me and Gonze

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pamela Baker says:

      Thanks – next time you do make it to NYC – let me know – maybe we have can a beer or two together! I did forget to mention that when we left and walked down the block – there on the wall was a huge mural by Banksy. My son recognized his work immediately and took some pics (he, Banksy, quietly appeared Thurs night in the City and left two of his works).
      I too was really moved by the wishbones once I knew their true meaning of being left there.

      Like

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