Where to Drink

NYC’s old bars in a new light

Withstanding the test of time, these iconic New York establishments are for historians who have seen the city grow up around them.

As New York continues to grow and change every day, the older bars in the city, if they are still there, are seeped rich with history. There lies a unique story behind each one of them, so explore these drinking spots in shades of sepia, stepping out Mad men style.

Pete’s Tavern

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Entrance to Pete’s Tavern, Source: Facebook

Claiming to be the oldest bar and restaurant in New York, Pete’s Tavern was established in 1864. Known to be a meeting spot to conduct deals and business during the Prohibition, the bar currently offers 1920’s Prohibition cocktail options like the Sidecar made with Cognac, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, and a lemon twist. The Tavern’s elaborate cocktail list consists of martinis and seasonal summer cocktails like the Elderflower Smash made with Hendricks Gin, elderflower simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, club soda, and bitters.

Location - 129 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003.

Timings - 11 am to 2 am (Monday to Sunday)

Bemelmans Bar

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Mural walls at the Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle hotel, Source: Facebook

A place famous for social gatherings for world leaders and celebrities, the Bemelmans Bar is named after an artist who gained popularity from the Madeline children's book series. Opened in 1947, the bar resides in the Carlyle hotel on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, its walls painted with murals to recite its history. Enjoy a glass of Moët and Chandon "Imperial", NV, Brut, Epernay while admiring the tune of fine pianists. You may also sip on one of their signature cocktails like the Ludwig’s Bunny Negroni made with Montelobos Mezcal, Mancino chinato, Rinomato Aperitivo, and Ancho Reyes Green. Be aware of the $15 cover charge per person applied everyday from 6 pm to 10 pm.

Location - 35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021.

Timings - 4 pm to 12 am (Monday to Sunday)

Fraunces Tavern

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Outdoor patio at the Fraunces Bar, Source: Facebook

Standing firm with rich history, Fraunces Tavern is the place where George Washington with his group of officers bid an emotional farewell to the last British troops on American soil in 1783. The tavern features rare craft beer options like Porterhouse (Pilsner), Captain Lawrence (Pastry Dreams), and Firestone Walker (Old Manhattan 2018). Bottled and canned craft beers such as wheat beer, light lagers, Belgian-style ales, ginger beers, stouts, golden ales, gluten free, and non-alcoholic beer options attract homebodies from the South Street Seaport district in Manhattan.

Happy hours - 3 pm to 6 pm (Monday to Thursday)

Location - 54 Pearl St, New York, NY 10004.

Timings - 12 pm to 12 am (Sunday to Wednesday)
                12 pm to 2 am (Thursday to Saturday)

Julius’

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A lively bar counter at Julius’, Source: Website

Acclaimed as the oldest gay bar in the city, Julius’ boasts of letting four homosexuels in 1966 drink in their bar when the NYS Liqour Authority’s legislation prohibited bars and restaurants serving homosexuals. Walk into the full bar to choose a drink of your choice from spirits and beers to pair with their famous Julius burger with cheese and bacon.

Location - 159 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014.

Timings - Closed (Monday)
                2 pm to 10 pm (Tuesday to Friday)
                12 pm to 10 pm (Saturday to Sunday)

P.J. Clarke’s

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P.J. Clarke’s on the Third Avenue, Source: Website

Providing frosty drinks and fresh food since 1884, the P.J.Clarke’s on Third Avenue has seen and done it all. From dominating the Prohibition era to establishing it's branches on the Hudson and the Lincoln Square, the bar serves tasty cocktails like Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em made with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Drambuie, thyme, blackberry, lime, and Peychaud's bitters. Wash down small plates like baked clams, Sticky Thai Chilli Meatballs, Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, and more with the tap beers like Guinness, Brooklyn lager, and Stella Artois while you are at P.J.Clarke’s.

Location - 915 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022.

Timings - 5 pm to 10 pm (Sunday)
                Closed (Monday)
                12 pm to 10 pm (Tuesday to Saturday)

White Horse Tavern

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Drinks and food at the White Horse Tavern, Source: Facebook

Acknowledged as the oldest serving restaurant in the U.S and 10th oldest in the world, the White Horse Tavern will take you back a few centuries with its colonial Newport design. Pair the Beef Wellington with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from Oberon, Napa Valley for a delightful match. We also recommend sipping on one of the signature cocktails like the Blackberry Jalapeño Margarita made with Blanco Tequila, jalapeño, blackberry, lime, and soda to let the 1673 colonial charm sink in.

Location - 567 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014.

Timings - 12 pm to 11 pm (Sunday)
                4 pm to 11 pm (Monday to Wednesday)
                4 pm to 2 am (Thursday to Friday)
                11 am to 2 am (Saturday)

McSorley’s Old Ale House

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Chatting and drinking at the McSorley’s Old Ale House, Source: Website

Located in the East Village of Manhattan, the McSorley’s Old Ale House beer menu is quite simple. You choose either from light or dark beer, which is available for a stealing price of $6. The old school bar will take you back in time with its noisy interiors, sawdust floors, and typical tavern feels.

Location - 15 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003.

Timings - 11 am to 1 am (Monday to Sunday)

Header image- Fraunces Bar, Source: Facebook

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