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McSorley's Old Ale House

Not Rated.
McSorley's Old Ale HouseMcSorley's Old Ale House
BA SCORE
83
good

91 Ratings
Ratings: 91
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 18.46%
Taps: 2
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

15 E 7th St
New York, New York, 10003-8001
United States
phone: (212) 473-9148

view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 | Reviews: 76 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Neorebel:
Photo of Neorebel
3.14/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2

In my opinion, McSorley's is a must see if you have some time to kill with a group of friends hanging out near the lower east side. I was going to a concert at Webster Hall in the evening and took a detour here. The atmosphere is awesome - The oldest saloon in New York! There's tons of authentic old memorabilia adorning the wall, as well as pictures, articles, badges, etc. You really have to see it. The place has a lot of historical significance. The old wooden tables are scratched to hell and there is sawdust all over the floor. Not TVs or music to distract you from your present company, just loud conversation going on everywhere and bustling staff. Don't try to engage the bartenders much - the place is always super busy and I'm sure it's hectic to keep the beer flowing. The beers are very cheap - choose from either 'light' or 'dark,' and you receive 2 small mugs for $5. They are unpretentious and straight forward beers, but definitely a huge step up from PBR or Coors Light, etc. It's a great 'man's type of place' for a reunion with old friends and other such occasions.

More User Reviews:
Photo of mattm458
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of misternebbie
3.52/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Will_Rivera
4.5/5  rDev +24%

Photo of Sellen
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of JKIPA05
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of MarkSansone
5/5  rDev +37.7%

Photo of KornWallace
4.74/5  rDev +30.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3

This place is simply an institution. Light or Dark are your only beer options and they are both fantastic. You don't come here for the food, just the beer and the atmosphere, both of which are top notch. This place is traditional down to the saw dust on the floor a must go to for anyone who enjoys a bar with an old style.

Photo of nycsportster
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 2

Pick light or dark! One of the oldest bars in NYC, McSorley's is famous for its men only policy up to 1970. Saw dust floor and relics everywhere, it's a time capsule of a by gone era. The beer comes by the fist fulls, and goes down quick. Get used to making new friends, as no chairs go unused. Unless you are a fan of cheese and onions, grab a slice before hand.

Photo of paulish
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of sirsteve42
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of thefokus
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of NYR_Rob
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of patm185
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of -NESTO-
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of seanchai
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of FrankJCurtin
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of LagersAndAles
4.75/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of rev_jimmy
4.48/5  rDev +23.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I work a few blocks north of McSorely's. I am a traditionalist and McSorely's is the real deal. It has been around for 150+ years. The stuff on the walls isn't kitschy, it is really old. Pepe, the bartender, has been there for decades and is great at initiating first timers.

McSorely's serves two beers, their light and their dark. I only get the dark. Someday, I'll try the other one. For $5.50 two pints. In NYC, that's a steal. Being kind, the food is pedestrian at best. Do not expect a great menu. However, it is passable and it is cheap.

As for the beer, it is very drinkable. Have two and you will want two more.

Photo of morebeergood
3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of brewsclues
4.36/5  rDev +20.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3

"Good Ale. Raw Onions. [No] Ladies."

People who have visited McSorley's: Abe "Lincoln Logs" Lincoln. Teddy "Don't Call Me Teddy" Roosevelt. Boss Tweed. Peter Cooper. Winston Churchill. e.e. Cummings. Me.

McSorley's: grimy, dirty, historical, raw, hug-you-bar-neighbor, sing-songs-with-strangers, play flip cup with servers, be good or be gone, raw onions, buy beers in multiples of two, sawdust since the eighteen-seventies, wishbones for doughboys that never came home, graffiti from the great depression, and two solid sessionable ales. Come for the experience, stay for the experience.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of aeibrean
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5

First of all I have to preface this review by saying I am bias toward this place. I have been going here since I was in nappies/diaper. My grandfather brought me here before my first birthday. I have been a regular ever since. Mind you they did not serve me for 18 years.
This is the original beer bar/brew-pub. They only serve their own brew. They are the oldest continuously serving bar in North America.
The ales are first rate. It is very difficult to find a superiour Irish ale, dark or light. It is however the atmosphere that draws me in. You enter alone & never leave without making a friend. You stand @ the bar or sit @ a table & chat. That is what this place is for & has been for 160 years.Since 1860 every Gouvernor of N.Y., Mayor of New York, & President of The United States has been through these doors. Popes & Kings as well. Winston Churchill (sic) & Brendan Behan (sic) both drank here. Not @ the same time.

Photo of Rassilon
1.54/5  rDev -57.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 1

McSorley's? They should change their name to McSurly's to accurately represent their staff.

The staff of jerks will take advantage of you and treat you like crap. The 2 choices of beer are okay at best. Be sure that you follow the tradition of the place: when you order a beer, you get two smaller glasses full of the beer that you ordered. Do not ask for one of each. That will piss off the surly staff even more. Maybe treating customers like crap is their gimmick.

Worth visiting once for its history as it is the oldest bar in Manhattan.

Photo of jjboesen
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
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.”

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McSorley's Old Ale House in New York, NY
83 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.