Sláinte and Erin go Bragh … often heard in any Irish pub and what better way for a St. Patrick’s Day post than to write about one of my favorite Irish pubs on this side of the Atlantic. Plus a funny story involving my wife and the bathroom!
McSorley’s: “Be Good or Be Gone.“
A little history
Established in 1854, and in the same location ever since in the East Village, way before it was runover by hipsters and whatnot. In the winter it’s heated by an old pot bellied wood stove, that the cat had dibs on. The walls are a literal museum of NY drinking culture, as well as Irish-Smerisan contributions to the US (and whatever has been placed on the walls, stays on the walls).
They still only accept cash, and still serve only two types of beer, McSorley’s Dark or McSorley’s Light and you better have cash. And your change will more than likely be slammed down in a lake of beer on the bar. where many famous people have been served.
Some famous drinkers: Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and JFK as well as Harry Houdini have all imbibed there.
I started going to McSorley’s after I was discharged from the Navy in 1983 and even though I don’t live in NY anymore (left in 1991) I still make it back every time I’m in the city.
McSorley’s & Women Rights & date night with my girlfriend (now my wife)
Women weren’t allowed until a Supreme Court ruling in the 1970s and and a women’s restroom wasn’t installed until the late 1980s, which brings me to a funny story:
Funny Date night
It must have been late 1988 and I was dating a Brazilian (now my wife, married since 1989) and I took her to McSorley’s, knowing they had no women’s restrooms. Further, the doors on the stalls were removed to discourage women from coming to this establishment.
As beer and nature took its course, my then-girlfriend went to the bathroom, and she comes out screaming … all the men are laughing. SO I go in there and stand guard at the open stall while she does her business.
Right there I knew she was the one.
Happy St. Patricks Day and “May The Road rise up to meet you.”
McSorley’s Pro Tip
Go in the day, less crowed and you can peruse all the history on the walls and have a traditional lunch with the hottest mustard ever.
Also as the beers are small, order at least 6 at a time, or 6 dark and 6 light.