Skip to main content

See also:

An afternoon at McSorley's

One of my favorite things to do when I visit New York City is to visit the city’s oldest bar, McSorley’s Old Ale House. The thing about McSorley’s is that it never really changes; it has been the same for 145 years. Their slogan is, “We were here before you were born.” Sure the original McSorley’s only allowed men in, but that rule changed in 1970. And one that hasn’t changed is the beer they serve, Drought, light ale and Porter, dark ale. The also price their beer in pairs, so you always order two at a time. I always get the porter, the malty taste is better than the thinner that the lighter ale. The beer comes in 10-ounce mugs, but after the foam settles it is more like 6-8 ounces. The prices at McSorley’s are also a throwback. 2 beers are $5.50, a burger is $5.00 and cheese and crackers are $3.50.
The décor at McSorley’s consists of some old flags before there were 50 states, old newspaper clippings and old photos of McSorley’s picnic outings from the past. The front room has an old pot bellied stove to keep the room warm on winter days. The floor is covered in saw dust and the tables in the back room haven’t been changed in decades. There is a sign in the back room that reads, “IITYWYBAD, culinary artist.” E-mail me and I’ll tell you what it means, it will impress your drinking buddies.
Twenty years ago the trick was to drink two beers at once, basically holding one mug over the other so the top beer flows into the bottom mug and drinking it all. My personal best was to drink four beers at the same time. Back then there were no digital cameras, but many people took my picture doing the four beers at one time. So for this trip to McSorley’s I re-enacted my old tricks and had my wife take the pictures. 
McSorley’s is a from a day long ago and that’s why you should go there.