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McSorley's Old Ale House
Taps: 2 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$ - inexpensive
[ Bar, Eatery ]
15 E 7th St
phone: (212) 473-9148
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 74 | Show All Ratings:
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
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5 | $$
If you havent been, you must go. I first went back in my High school days, got drunk, got thrown out, went back in, drank more, got thrown out again. ahh the memories, I'd say try to go when its not too crowded, better to enjoy the cozy pot bellied fire place, the decent bar food, the ancient stuff on the walls, the unisex bathroom, and to soak up the fine athmosphere. My last visit was on a crowded thursday evening, fun to join a raucous crowd and feel the collective inebriation. Beer is all they serve, but they only serve 2 kinds.
12-31-2004 05:57:57 |
More by Billolick
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | $$
There was a time when I found McSorley's interesting and charming due to it's rich heritage and unpretentious bar-room character, but now I just find it annoying. Don't get me wrong, I still love the actual bar itself, and it still holds some odd-kind of historic importance and deserves a bit of reverence, but it's become an overcrowded tourist trap where nazi-like Micks need to herd the crowd and keep them reigned in with a bit of vengance. And it seems like the place is always full unless you can make it down during the week before the after work crowd spills in. I bow to you frat boys, NYU students, hipster-wanna-be's, and foreigners... you can have your two beer selection (they're not that good anyway), you've beaten me! Now please leave me alone while I go and have a much better time down the block at Burp Castle, Jimmy's Lucky #43, or Zum Schneider (and yes, I know you've got your hooks in there too!).
07-03-2007 22:24:46 |
More by NeroFiddled
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | $$
So I decided to go ahead and visit the (in)famous McSorley's. About time! Didn't know it was right behind the cool Morphosis-designed Cooper Union building. What a contrast, the future and the past...
The door looks shut from the outside, like a speakeasy (very East Village). Inside, no music, the smell of sawdust, worn-out wood and old memorabilia. I dig it.
Lively but not totally busy on a Monday at around 3:00 pm, with a mixture of tourists and businessmen. Apparently it was a slow day, the friendly barkeep said, but it was busier than most bars are on any given Monday.
Super nice guy, the bartender, as old as McSorley's itself. We chatted and laughed about my sugar mama ("everybody should have one!"), the one that makes it possible for me to be at McSorley's on a Monday.
Beer? Well. You know the drill. There is dark and there is light, and you get two. Not exactly great but good enough, goes down easy and tastes decent. Felt like a cheap nut brown ale to me, or a Smithwicks.
Price is reasonable ($5 bucks for two small mugs) and food looks like you only want to eat it if you're drunk. :-) I didn't try it.
Should this be on BA? Probably not. But it holds tremendous historic value, and it sure is worth at least one visit. I will certainly go back, hopefully with the sugar mama, on a quiet day just to enjoy the priceless atmosphere.
12-03-2011 09:08:44 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | $$
Third stop on a recent NYC pub crawl. First time visiting here, so we went out of way to swing by. It's worth it, this place is cool. Talk about a place with tons to look at! Doesn't look like it changed since 1860. It just reeks old NYC, and I loved it. Sawdust on the ground. Two choices of beer: light & dark. Two mugs of beer per order. Waiters wear uniforms. Just crazy that a place like this survives. For lovers of nostalgia, you have to visit here for a beer.
09-27-2013 20:39:41 |
More by morebeergood
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | $$
This place is a NYC institution. I have been going there at least once a year for the last 18 years. It is always better in the day time than at night. They have 2 kinds of beer here--light and dark. While both are decent, they are really nothing special. Their beer is sold in a lot of other bars in Manhattan which, I guess, is a testament to its popularity.
The thing I like most about this place is it hasn't changed at all over the years. I have a calendar on my desk of Mc Sorleys and the photos from the 1950's could be from today.
Then there are the staff that work there. These people are classic. The place is a bit of a tourist trap , so thery get foreigners in all the time who are not familiar with the American custom of tipping. I am always taking a table over from some non-tippers so I am welcomed like royalty by the staff cuz I guess they know I will give them a decent tip.
08-16-2004 18:34:49 |
More by rousee
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
McSorley's is without question a legendary beer bar located in the East Village. When I stepped inside I felt like I was transported to a different time and place. Seasoned wood floors lay the foundation. A big wooden bar runs the right side and large tables provide seating. There is a constant flow of customers coming in and out. There appeared to be a good mix of locals and tourists. This place is saturated in history with old pictures, pins and political paraphernalia.
As far as beer selection goes, there are simply two options; light & dark. I tried both during my visit. Their beers are solid and very quaffable. It also helps the presentation when they're served in durable glass mugs. You order two a clip and before you know it, you're ready for another round. Beers are $2.25 each and looked like 10 oz pours.
The atmosphere here is truly the highlight. There is so much to take in. Recommend for it's historic significance and communal, festive beer drinking vibe.
04-15-2006 16:28:42 |
More by Hibernator
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: 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: 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
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McSorley's Old Ale House in New York, NY
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