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McSorley's Old Ale House

About this listing

Established in 1854, an icon of old New York

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : East Village
Commercial, Food & Drink

Place Matters Profile

McSorley's Old Ale House was opened as The Old House at Home in 1854 by John McSorley. McSorley was an Irish Quaker immigrant from County Tyrone, who had arrived in New York City in 1851 during the Irish potato famine. A decade after the bar opened on East 7th Street, the building in which it is located was renovated into a five-story tenement, and McSorley moved upstairs from the bar with his wife and children. In 1888, the McSorleys purchased the entire building.

By the 1880s, McSorley's Old Time Ale House (as it was then known) was a favorite Manhattan watering hole. In 1882, a play called "McSorley's Inflation" opened at the Theatre Comique on Broadway. The production featured a bar owner named Peter McSorley, and songs by the Irish-American songwriting duo, Harrigan and Hart.

Although the bar was popular as an ale house (its ale came from the Fidelio...

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On The Web

McSorley's Old Ale House website


Anonymous Nominator

Founded in 1854 by John McSorley, this is one of New York's oldest saloons. It's famous for its old-world atmosphere and infamous for its long-time policy of men only, in place until a court ruling against it in 1970.

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