Today I decided to go to three bars that are listed in one of my favorite guides, “Jimmy’s Best New York Irish Pub Guide” This has a couple of nice maps of Manhattan. One shows the subway lines and the larger one, which only shows Manhattan below 83rd Street, has the locations of 80 Irish bars marked with red numbered circles. An invaluable, if somewhat incomplete, guide.
A classy Irish pub not far from Grand Central at 9 East 45th Street. I gather from the fact that three out of the four televisions are showing CNBC instead of sports that this is pretty much a businessman’s bar. It has a nice wooden bar with a bar rail. Silver stations with a decent number of spigots sit on the bar. Fairly fancy glass shelves and mirrors are behind the bar. The upper shelves hold interesting glass vases, martini glasses filled with clear glass marbles, and a display of framed certificates and letters of commendation. The lights over the bar have pretty blue glass shades inside of larger clear glass shades that look like inverted wine goblets. The walls behind the bar chairs has dark wood paneling going up about a third of the way, then are dark red for another third of the way. Above the dark red portion is a narrow ledge and above that the walls are a pale orange. There are some interesting pictures on the wall, watercolors of the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street, what looks like an Irish Day parade, and one of people having a good old time in a large beer hall. The ceiling is patterned tin and the floors are wood.
There are a few tables up front next to a stairwell leading to an upstairs eating area. Two globe lights sit on pillars at the bottom of the stairs. Cone shaped white glass with a blue pattern shaded lights hang over the tables downstairs. There is another small seating area in the back.
I had a draft Heffweizen.
517) Maggie’s Place
A couple of blocks away at 21 East 47th Street is this much more authentic looking, and smelling (French fries and beer) Irish pub. And three of the four television were tuned to ESPN with only one tuned to CNBC. A sign outside claims it is the oldest family owned Irish pub in New York. There is a decent sized wooden bar with a brass rail. Wood cabinetry behind the bar has shelves with mirrored backing in the middle and kind of crackly glass with Irish crests in four sections, two on either side of the mirrors. Those four panels have tiered shelves for liquor in front of them. There are three nice brass stations for their beer spigots and they have a decent selection.
Behind the wooden bar chairs with black seats is a row of small two person tables extending from the dark wood wall. Neat old fashioned looking lights are mounted on the wall above the tables. There is a dining area in the back and the entryway is flanked by two columns that have kind of pinkish tinted globe lights sitting atop. The floors hera are wood and the ceiling is dark wood panels. Recessed spot lights illuminate the bar and the rest of the place.
I had a draft Speckled Hen, one of my favorites, served in an authentic Speckled Hen glass. I would have liked to have stolen it.
518) P.J. Moran’s
Moving up one block to 3 East 48th Street I hit this classic Irish pub marred only by recent, and cheap, looking signs taped to two nice mirrors with metal floral designs. The stark white, and quite cheesy looking signs with the Scotch tape holding them up rather sloppily applied advertises such “traditional” Irish drinks as the Bikini Martini, the Angel Kiss Martini, and the Carmel Appletini. Uggh. The bartender’s only comment when I asked him about this travesty was that the signs sold drinks. There is no accounting for taste. Ah well, there is now a Starbucks in the Forbidden City in Beijing.
The rest of the place is pretty decent though, an old wooden bar with a brass rail and wood bar chairs with dark green vinyl seats and a pretty standard behind the bar setup. Neat stuff on the wall behind the bar chairs; a mosaic image of Brendan Behan and a few large Leroy Neimann prints, one of a dejected looking Joe Namath. There is a small dining area in the back and maybe one upstairs. There are colorful flapper era pictures on the walls back there. CNBC was on showing on all five televisions.
I had a Dewar’s and soda and headed home.
A fairly standard three bar day bringing my total up to 518 and leaving me with 482 to go.