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McSorley's Old Ale House
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$ - inexpensive
[ Bar, Eatery ]
15 E. Seventh Street
phone: (212) 473-9148
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vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3 | $$
"Good Ale. Raw Onions. [No] Ladies."
People who have visited McSorley's: Abe "Lincoln Logs" Lincoln. Teddy "Don't Call Me Teddy" Roosevelt. Boss Tweed. Peter Cooper. Winston Churchill. e.e. Cummings. Me.
McSorley's: grimy, dirty, historical, raw, hug-you-bar-neighbor, sing-songs-with-strangers, play flip cup with servers, be good or be gone, raw onions, buy beers in multiples of two, sawdust since the eighteen-seventies, wishbones for doughboys that never came home, graffiti from the great depression, and two solid sessionable ales. Come for the experience, stay for the experience.
01-15-2013 14:28:43 |
More by brewsclues
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 1.5 | $
A landmark above all landmarks. No, this is not a spot for beer. Technically, it shouldn't be in the BA database. But there is no place that carries as much history as this one. Keep an eye out for Houdini's handcuffs at the base of the bar. And if you haven't been back to McSorley's in some time, the wishbones had to be dusted off per the health department. So, there will be no dust bunnies clinging to them, and a few less as they crumbled upon cleaning. This place is history for the eyes.
Oh yeah. Burp Castle is just down the street.
08-30-2012 17:44:52 |
More by RblWthACoz
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5 | $$
First of all I have to preface this review by saying I am bias toward this place. I have been going here since I was in nappies/diaper. My grandfather brought me here before my first birthday. I have been a regular ever since. Mind you they did not serve me for 18 years.
This is the original beer bar/brew-pub. They only serve their own brew. They are the oldest continuously serving bar in North America.
The ales are first rate. It is very difficult to find a superiour Irish ale, dark or light. It is however the atmosphere that draws me in. You enter alone & never leave without making a friend. You stand @ the bar or sit @ a table & chat. That is what this place is for & has been for 160 years.Since 1860 every Gouvernor of N.Y., Mayor of New York, & President of The United States has been through these doors. Popes & Kings as well. Winston Churchill (sic) & Brendan Behan (sic) both drank here. Not @ the same time.
07-18-2012 16:55:48 |
More by aeibrean
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | $
In my opinion, McSorley's is a must see if you have some time to kill with a group of friends hanging out near the lower east side. I was going to a concert at Webster Hall in the evening and took a detour here. The atmosphere is awesome - The oldest saloon in New York! There's tons of authentic old memorabilia adorning the wall, as well as pictures, articles, badges, etc. You really have to see it. The place has a lot of historical significance. The old wooden tables are scratched to hell and there is sawdust all over the floor. Not TVs or music to distract you from your present company, just loud conversation going on everywhere and bustling staff. Don't try to engage the bartenders much - the place is always super busy and I'm sure it's hectic to keep the beer flowing. The beers are very cheap - choose from either 'light' or 'dark,' and you receive 2 small mugs for $5. They are unpretentious and straight forward beers, but definitely a huge step up from PBR or Coors Light, etc. It's a great 'man's type of place' for a reunion with old friends and other such occasions.
07-08-2012 04:17:55 |
More by Neorebel
vibe: 4 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | $$
McSorley's? They should change their name to McSurly's to accurately represent their staff.
The staff of jerks will take advantage of you and treat you like crap. The 2 choices of beer are okay at best. Be sure that you follow the tradition of the place: when you order a beer, you get two smaller glasses full of the beer that you ordered. Do not ask for one of each. That will piss off the surly staff even more. Maybe treating customers like crap is their gimmick.
Worth visiting once for its history as it is the oldest bar in Manhattan.
07-02-2012 20:43:42 |
More by Rassilon
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 1 | $
No trip to the East Village, much less New York City, can be considered authentic without stopping at this venerable saloon for a few frothy mugs of McSorley’s Ale. Beer geeks, you need not ask for the beer menu since the only beer served is light or dark. Yes, the era of craft beers, much like that of electronic devices, television, credit cards and air conditioning, has no place here in this 19th Century time capsule. In fact, women were barred entry until a 1970 Supreme Court decision. Despite this minor adaptation to the present, McSorley’s refuses to change and remains a living (and drinking) history lesson that offers one a unique and personal experience of the bygone days.
Walking through the doors and across the saw dusted floor, you are tracing in the same steps as Babe Ruth, Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Houdini, whose handcuffs are still connected to the bar rail;. In fact, it is said that even tee totaling Abraham Lincoln paid a visit following his 1860 “House Divided” speech at nearby Cooper Union Hall – his chair is secured behind the bar. From the weathered chandelier hang wishbones, placed there for “Good Luck” by World War I doughboys, to be reclaimed upon returning from war. Many of these soldiers did not and their wishbones still hang. (Incidentally, anybody who removes a wishbone is banned from McSorley’s.) The ancient walls are covered in yellowed newspaper articles and an unknown amount of memorabilia, much of it honoring the NYPD, which has been in place since 1910.
So, come by on a quiet weekday afternoon, stand at the bar, knock down a few mugs, order up some hash, and take a good, long look around. Just remember; “Be Good or Be Gone.”
01-20-2012 22:07:43 |
More by jjboesen
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | $$
So I decided to go ahead and visit the (in)famous McSorley's. About time! Didn't know it was right behind the cool Morphosis-designed Cooper Union building. What a contrast, the future and the past...
The door looks shut from the outside, like a speakeasy (very East Village). Inside, no music, the smell of sawdust, worn-out wood and old memorabilia. I dig it.
Lively but not totally busy on a Monday at around 3:00 pm, with a mixture of tourists and businessmen. Apparently it was a slow day, the friendly barkeep said, but it was busier than most bars are on any given Monday.
Super nice guy, the bartender, as old as McSorley's itself. We chatted and laughed about my sugar mama ("everybody should have one!"), the one that makes it possible for me to be at McSorley's on a Monday.
Beer? Well. You know the drill. There is dark and there is light, and you get two. Not exactly great but good enough, goes down easy and tastes decent. Felt like a cheap nut brown ale to me, or a Smithwicks.
Price is reasonable ($5 bucks for two small mugs) and food looks like you only want to eat it if you're drunk. :-) I didn't try it.
Should this be on BA? Probably not. But it holds tremendous historic value, and it sure is worth at least one visit. I will certainly go back, hopefully with the sugar mama, on a quiet day just to enjoy the priceless atmosphere.
12-03-2011 09:08:44 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5 | food: 3 | $$
I went on a recent weekday night for my first visit in a while, but I have been many, many times over the years. When I'm in the right mood, and when the place isn't packed to the hilt (which is frequently on weekend nights), this is a great pub. However, it is by no means a 'beer bar' that should be a BA destination. I'm shocked by the number of reviewers giving it 4s or 5s on selection or quality. There are 2 beers - light and dark - and they're not that good, in my opinion. However, the old atmosphere is great, and I love the old-school, gruff waiters. The saltines and cheese plate, with some horseradish mustard, goes great with a few mugs of beer too. Please don't get me wrong - I highly enjoy this place, just not as a destination for craft beer (or even decent tasting beer).
10-07-2011 20:02:56 |
More by henkster
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | $$
An institution, obviously. But I don't really enjoy going to McSorley's much. Usually packed, often with a mix of tourists and long-time regulars. Loud. Two rooms that flow into each other, looks nice in the old-timey dark oak bar kind of way. The two beers (light and dark only) while pretty cheap are also pretty mediocre. Not gonna excite a craft fan much. If you're visiting NY and want to check a historic tavern where famous writers and artists hung out blah blah blah then stop in. Certainly not a "beer destination" for a BA.
10-05-2011 04:39:36 |
More by tobelerone
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
I have been going to McSorley's for years now. A bunch of us go down on the day before Thanksgiving and spend the day. Nothing better than walking in at 10:30 and stumbling out at 4 to catch the train home! I love the beer. Drinking half the dark and mixing in some light beer makes a great Black and Tan. Food is great. We typically order up some saltines, crackers and cheese for starters then finish it off with a great Thanksgiving dinner. Come stop by and grab a chair at our table! We are always sitting next to the wood stove!
03-11-2011 12:15:31 |
More by masterg2
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McSorley's Old Ale House in New York, NY