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McSorley's Old Ale House

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92 reviews
|Bars|New York, NY 10003

15 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003

(212) 473-9148

Closed now



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McSorley's is a Cooper Union landmark that first opened sometime around the Civil War. It is one of the oldest continuously operating bars in the city. McSorley's serves two kinds of beer, McSorley's Lager and McSorley's Cream Stock Ale, and they are served two mugs at a time. Inside, you'll find sawdust on the floor and historic bric-à-brac alongside photos and news clippings. The menu is simple, with appetizers such as hearty cheese plates. Just be sure to keep the pub's centuries-old motto in mind: "Be Good or Be Gone!"

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92 reviews
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Burlington Tom review for McSorley's Old Ale House
Burlington Tom on Citysearch

14 years ago

08/06/2007, 03:40 AM
Toss back a few half-pints of History – Warning: before entering this old LES dive, one must ask themselves, "Am I a pub person or a trendy wine bar person?" No offense to the latter, but I being one of the former, I feel obliged to vehemently defend this historical NYC icon. Sure, the place looks like a haunted house, there's saw dust on the floors, the bartenders gruff and curt, and the signature "dish" includes a packet of plastic-wrapped saltines straight out of the box, but it all adds to the experience one has at McSorley's Old Ale House. One cannot beat the price of $4.50 for a pair of half-pinters, especially in Manhattan and you can't help but think while you're tossing back a few if you're sitting right where Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln did the same. The collage of random stuff on the walls chronicles the history since McSorley's opened in the 1840's. Notice the dust-covered wishbones hanging on the light fixture over the bar. GIs leaving for WWII hung them there and the ones belonging to the men that never came back were left. See? This place is a FAR cry from those music-blarring, darkly-lit, OVER-priced aforementioned wine bars. Beware the mustard (it's more comparable to mustard GAS). It's great but HOT. Perfect for a drunken dare.
lorelaig review for McSorley's Old Ale House
lorelaig on Citysearch

15 years ago

07/05/2007, 04:58 AM
Another bad review... Avoid the old guy – If you looked through the other bad reviews, everyone mentions "the old guy." They are definitely not exaggerating when they recall the rude encounters with this man. I understand that the appeal of this bar is its simplicity and its historical value. I went there this past weekend for a birthday gathering. Granted, it is always crowded on a weekend night but I was shoved against the bar by the old man there. He didn't even acknwledge my presence. He was right up against me. I got beer all over my arm. Then I tried to squeeze my way into the back room where all my friends were. I was greeted by the same old man who assumed just because I was of a particular race that the other girl who was the same race as I was, was my friend that was sitting at a table. Then he would not let me in because it was "crowded." It was busy in there, but I would not consider the back room filled to capacity. I find this behavior unexcuseable and I hope that anyone who reads this will choose not to go to this bar.
jizay review for McSorley's Old Ale House
jizay on Citysearch

15 years ago

05/03/2007, 06:36 AM
Great History – When visiting NYC this is a must stop. This place has a great history behind it and the look of the place tells it all. This place packs in the locals and the tourists, all drinking and having a great time. The McSorley's Dark was a good beer, especially during happy hour when they doubled up. If you get a chance, walk around the place and take in the history on the walls.
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fossilted review for McSorley's Old Ale House
fossilted on Citysearch

15 years ago

02/16/2007, 04:52 AM
Go to this bar! – A visit to New York goes unfulfilled without a McSorley's afternoon. Midweek around 2 or three PM, a few await entrance on a busier day. Serious faced, suited New Yorkers stand alongside the occasional tourist clad, waiting their turn for entrance, anticipating a decent table in a darker corner. This began my first visit 20 years ago. I didn't know what to expect, until the first trio exited, very, very intoxicated; happily intoxicated. We stood near the old bar at first, taking in the cornucopia of bar relics, the old wood tables and floors. The urinals were most impressive, being the target of many a photo later that day, some offensive. We were kicked out of the bathroom long before they took the mustard away. (We were on the second order of 60 beers. They brought them all at once. Imagine.) The mustard fight started innocently enough. 20, 30, and 40 year olds, flickling small dabs of hot mustard across the round table at eachother, one aim ruining one of my brother's vintage old silk ties, along with a white dress shirt. The mustard was scooped up without a word, a stone-faced waiter unsurprised. What to do but have another light, then a dark. 120 beers later, we made room for others in line, now standing in the dark. I've gone back to this bar on every visit to New York since. It's my favorite anywhere. If you are impressed with history, fine ale, character, and real people, go to this bar. If you are an uptight idiot, please stay away; you are no fun anyway. Go with fun people, or find them there.
irishgrl417 review for McSorley's Old Ale House
irishgrl417 on Citysearch

15 years ago

02/15/2007, 00:25 AM
IITYWYBMAD – Those "tacky adornments" are pieces of history...if you can't appreciate that, then that's your loss. As for all the reviewers who threaten to never return, as I've heard Tommy say in his brogue after looking around the crowded room, "Oh...that will hurt." Whether it be firemen from Ohio or businessmen from all over the tri-state area seated next to you, it's always an interesting and GREAT experience. Regardless of the size of the glass or the amount of foam, you still are spending less than you would per round at most bars in the city so you can afford to throw the waiter a decent tip. Besides his gruff nature is part of his charm....I Heart Tommy! "One hundred years and fifty..."
jstein6583 review for McSorley's Old Ale House
jstein6583 on Citysearch

15 years ago

01/09/2007, 05:09 AM
The old man needs to go the way of the buffalo – I went to this hole in the wall tonight for the first time after hearing nothing but good things but, as my friend who took me and I said as we clanged glasses, "Here's to the first and last drink we share in McSoreley's." The rude old man threw my glasses down on the table and spilled beer all over me. My unapologetic chagrin he basically demanded a tip and then scoffed at it. I threw another dollar at him; he probably needs it more than I do. He then proceeded to ask me if I was from New Jersey, whatever that means. This place is a hardcore frat boy, Republican, and blue collar watering hole and I would strongly advise anyone with a brain to steer clear of it. I had heard that they are rampant anti-semites, homophobes, and chauvinist pigs and saw for myself tonight that these accusations may not be far off the mark. The ambience of this sub par dive is tantamount with the cheesy wall decorations at a TGIFridays at best.
xyrium review for McSorley's Old Ale House
xyrium on Citysearch

15 years ago

12/27/2006, 05:25 AM
Can I rate it higher than 10? Great cultural experience... – THe photos on the walls, the wishbones hanging from the chandeliers, the fistfuls of dark beer....add to this, the plates of cheese, crackers, onions, and HOT mustard. The waiters are dry and direct, fun when engaged though. The place is s historic icon of Irish culture in the city. Highly recommended for a great time. Try getting in on St. Patty's day...the line is usually around the corner by 7am...
bbaigorri review for McSorley's Old Ale House
bbaigorri on Citysearch

15 years ago

11/18/2006, 07:08 AM
NYC Classic – This classic ale house hasn't changed in God knows how many years, and I love it for that. Go with a large group (early and on a weekday), claim one of the large tables in the back, and begin ordering rounds of their light and dark beers. Make sure you order in large quantities because these small mugs of beer go down like water. Most of the food is good, and I would recommend the corned beef or the cheese plate. The burgers look a little pre-made so I try to steer clear of them. Or, head to pomme frites down the block for some belgian fries.
otemity review for McSorley's Old Ale House
otemity on Citysearch

15 years ago

10/17/2006, 06:21 AM
Old New York Lives on E 7th Street – When ever I meet a tourist in New York city I recommend they stop at McSorley's. Sawdust on the floors, Dust hanging down from the thanksgiving turkey wishbones hanging on the light fixtures. Get a couple of Beers and read the stuff on the walls, it is an education to look arround and find the civil war relics, WW1 & WW2 relics. The food is common but not like other bars, They have the best corned beef hash and red cabage you can find in NY, even the cheese platter is great. Just remember to order your beers in even numbers and get at least 4 beers per person they go down fast and smooth. Take public transportation hanging out at McSorleys you will tie one on........... I took my daughter there for her 21st birhday, it is a trip back in time to old New York
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