The rustic McSorley's Old Ale House in New York, New York. Photo Credit: nycwritingarchives.blogspot.com
Phone: (212) 473-9148
Littered with speakeasy’s and watering holes dating back to the prohibitionist era; New York has character bars aplenty, however you’ll find far fewer “real” ale houses that predate the decade of secretive saloons. As it stands, McSorley’s has barely changed since it’s foundation in 1854 – the floor still covered with a layer of sawdust; dusty American breweriana crammed upon shelves and sepia photographs lining the wood-paneled walls. Even the staff look like they’re a part of the history.
McSorley’s is renowned for being one of few places in New York that only sells two kinds of ale – dark or light. Cash registers are non-existent, therefore you pay your way by inserting bills into a pig’s behind. Now serving food, the emphasis is still upon traditionalism, so if you’re looking for the kind of swanky presentation synonymous with the Oak Room – forget it. McSorley’s rarely sees the kind of bar-room brawls you get in some of the more popular branded bars, and it’s largely to do with the one golden rule all must abide by, “Be Good or Be Gone”. Judging by the surly appearance of some of McSorley’s staff, no-one has dared challenge it.