McSorley's Old Ale House
Taps: 2 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 74 | Show All Ratings:
1.54/5 rDev -57.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | $$
McSorley's? They should change their name to McSurly's to accurately represent their staff.
The staff of jerks will take advantage of you and treat you like crap. The 2 choices of beer are okay at best. Be sure that you follow the tradition of the place: when you order a beer, you get two smaller glasses full of the beer that you ordered. Do not ask for one of each. That will piss off the surly staff even more. Maybe treating customers like crap is their gimmick.
Worth visiting once for its history as it is the oldest bar in Manhattan.
07-02-2012 20:43:42 | More by Rassilon
1.91/5 rDev -46.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 1.5 | $
This place is a horrible beer bar. It shouldnt even be included in Beerfly. Only two beers, and both are mediocre at best. It is always crowded with cheeseball tourists and college kids. But the absolute worst part of this bar is the staff. The elderly bartenders and waiters are a bunch of grumpy old bastards. One time during the afternoon a bunch of friends sat at a table, began singing Irish songs with an occasional thump on the table and ordered a few beers. Well that got us cut off, before our first round arrived. If you want to go to the "real" oldest bar in NYC, then go to Pete's Tavern on 129 East 18th street. It has real history and better service. McSorley's is a complete waste of time.
06-13-2006 16:36:37 | More by drugsbunny
2.1/5 rDev -41.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 2 | $$
Ahhhh, McSorleys, a fine irish pub...not really. Although it is certainly worth at least one visit in your life time, it definatley does not merit a second or more visits.
Atmosphere is kischy with the fact that it is old and the floor boards are uneven, with a dirty bathroom.
Service is done by some jerks for the most part, there are plenty of nice people in the five boroughs, trust me !
Selection is light and dark, yippee !
Food is a bad attempt at bar food, you are far better off with the dollar menu at McDonalds.
Value is reasonable.
Again, go here once, just to say you did it, but if you actually like good beer and good food, no need for a second visit.
02-09-2008 02:36:02 | More by mltobin
2.13/5 rDev -40.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | $
had a chance to go back a couple of times
this is a part of new york
i used to live in new york now in new jersey
so i like it more now because im away from it
good place got to go get the dark and the light
get the cheese platter and the onion
the rope is just to keep people in line i guess if it bothers you like it did me their are manny other bars within walking distance
dont take my word for it i had to go back a few times before i liked it
now i will not go to new york with out going to
12-14-2002 01:49:29 | More by Kwak
2.63/5 rDev -26.7%
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
2.65/5 rDev -26.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 1.5 | food: 2 | $
Be good or be gone, the staff is often referred to as McSurleys, and the reputation is apprently well earned. Although everyone seems to know someone who was supposedly kicked out when they stopped drinking, or weren't drinking enough, it's never happened to me, and I've never seen it happen. The staff is generally tollerent of tourists and college kids who come by, but you can tell they prefer the regulars or those who are 'in the know.' The regulars come for one of the two beers offered, light, and dark. If your party is four people, order eight of each to start, do not, ever, under any circumstances, order a single beer. Besides, it's fun to watch one guy carry sixteen beers by himself... with no tray! Don't worry, although not great, they are small and go down easy. Plus, they're cheap! If you're hungry, the classic bar food here is a plate of saltines with either american or cheddar cheese, raw onions, and hot hot hot mustard. If you're feeling a little light headed, add some liverwurst to make the night truly memorable.
08-04-2006 16:18:08 | More by dherling
2.75/5 rDev -23.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $
We wanted to stop in because it is a historic pub and it was around 5:00 on a friday so we figured it wouldn't be to full. It was packed in the front but the back room was very open. My wife said she was going to head toward the back, find us a spot and I would bring the beers.
I pushed my way toward the and ordered one dark, one light and one water. The bartender comes back with 2 half full glass mugs of each order. I guess that is the way they serve all their beer. He then takes my money and throws it on a pile of cash on the back of the bar. Digging through it to find a single in change.
As I push my way to the back of the bar, I can see the usefulness of having each glass half full. As I see the open oasis of tables and space ahead there is an employee there that mumbles something to me. I step into the open room to ask him again what he said and he says "What the hell did you think I said?". Noting the touristy look on my face he says "get back in the front room! This is for dinners only". So we pushed our way back in the herd and tried to drink our beers. A group of people were sitting at a table and had to empty seats, they asked us to join them which was a haven. They shared their cheese and mustard with us and the sleeve of saltines that comes with it. It was alot of fun chatting but it involved yelling and everytime the table next to us had to pee we had to get up and move our table to let them out.
It was quite entertaining but I don't think I need to go back. The beer was average and it was more about quantity than quality but the people were very friendly even if it did fill like a bit of a tourist trap.
04-28-2008 03:10:10 | More by rhoadsrage
2.79/5 rDev -22.3%
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
2.8/5 rDev -22%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 2
You know, I'm finding some of these beerflys somewhat difficult to do. Like Chumleys, this place is built on an allure of it's historic relevance, a champion of bars, built long ago and still here, but in and of itself it ain't much.
The place is a bar to the right and a bunch of tables to the left. The cheese plate and the mustard are the way to go if you're looking for some grub. Mustard hot, lookout!!! Beer? Sure, they've got beer. 2 beers, actually. They've got light and dark. The Light is light and the dark is dark light. Not crazily flavorful, nothing I'm about to do beer reviews on. You buy rounds of mugs for $3.50 a clip and you're expected to buy handfuls of mugs at a time or you're just taking up space and it's time for you to go. Space is a precious commodity here as you'll often enough see a large line out front waiting for you to leave so they can get in.
It's a great bar to hit so you can say you've been to McSorley's and sure, if you're doing the E. 7th Street run or if you're doin' an East Village hop, but...
07-27-2003 16:13:25 | More by slander
2.84/5 rDev -20.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5
Wow, friggin wow. Went in on a summer afternoon. This was one of the very few must-see places I had on my list during my daylong super tour of NYC. This place did not disappoint. This place oozes atmosphere. It is one of NYC's oldest bars, if not the oldest. I think O. Henry may have written about this place. Much of it is original. Some of the dust appears to be 20 years old.
It was well past lunch but before the end of the work day and there was plenty of space at the bar. They have two types of beer, light and dark (lagers, brewed I believe in Baltimore). The bartender says "light or dark" and then puts two 8oz mugs in front of you of the type you asked for and takes $3.50. Pretty reasonable for NYC IMO.
2 mugs for $3.50 is the "daily special". Judging by the look of the sign, the daily special must have been going on for a few years now.
The dark lager was fine and my date liked the yellow beer. Not a beer geek paradise, but the type of place I'd hit often if I lived in NYC.
While I didn't have any food, the menu was truly odd featuring stuff like liverwurst sandwiches, egg salad and a couple of hot items.
This is a must-visit if you are ever in Greenwich Village.
10-17-2002 05:27:01 | More by Scoats
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McSorley's Old Ale House in New York, NY
82 out of 100 based on 76 user ratings.