While she doesn’t look like much from the outside (pictured), lurking beneath it’s semi-disheveled black and green exterior is one of the best bars in the entire country. This is not opinion. It’s fact. Sort of like how it’s fact that Kanye West is a douche bag.
So what makes McSorley’s so special? Well, for starters it’s the oldest bar in New York City, dating all the way back to 1854. I defy anyone to name another bar in the States that is this old that still has its cool. And while “cool” may be subjective to some, particularly women (who weren’t even allowed in the bar until 1970- I shit you not… And didn’t even have a woman’s bathroom until 1987- I double shit you not), one still has to show a healthy respect for a bar that has managed such enduring success serving only two drinks, an excellent house-crafted ale and a dark ale. No other beers. No liquor. No cocktails or shots.
Still not impressed, well, that only makes you about half as difficult as McSorley’s, because they also have quite a few rules to further complicate your buzz…
Rule 1: You can only buy beers in even numbers. Perhaps the greatest marketing scheme of all time.
Rule 2: You can only sit down at one of the tables in the back if you order food. Unfortunately the food doesn’t live up to the ale, but at least it’s an excuse to sit down after pounding beers in twos.
Rule 3: “Be good or be gone.” As stated by a sign, if you get too boisterous you are likely to find yourself kicked to the curb.
And yet with all of these rules, with no flat screens, no hard stuff, no themes or gimmicks, no promotions and with saw dust on the floor being their idea of feng shui, over 150 years later the place is still packed. Cheers McSorley’s.