New York: McSorley’s Old Ale House
Address: 15 East 7th St, New York, NY 10003
Nearest Station(s): Astor Place
Open: Monday – Saturday 11am- 1am; Sunday 12pm – 1am
For those of you who waste precious drinking time puzzling over what the fuck goes into a cocktail with a name like “slow screw against the wall”, McSorley’s Old Ale House is here to help. Stubbornly refusing to succumb to the pretentiousness of the New York drinking scene since its opening in 1854, this watering hole offers only two poisons: light and dark ale.
To the unseasoned beer consumer, the lighter beverage tastes remarkably similar to the moist breath of a gropey male college student, whereas the dark tastes a lot like liquid Vegemite. But at two for $5, you can’t really go wrong, especially when the enigmatic owner can somehow carry six steins in one hand. The chalkboard food menu is slightly more extensive than the drinks, but eating before you arrive is strongly advised, unless you particularly like liverwurst sandwiches or pungent cheddar drenched in hot mustard.
The venue itself is a time warp – a dark woody haven chock-a-block with skew-whiff sepia photos and newspaper clippings, among them the portrait of a naked woman who until 1970 was the only female allowed inside. Be warned that the sawdust that coats the floor and gives the bar its tangy scent will also inevitably coat you by the end of the night. Crowds are casual, homely and friendly, and it’s an excellent place to indulge in the great American tradition of “watching the game” in a redneck-free environment. Entry is guaranteed, but the owners have been known to kick punters out when they neglect to finish their beers.