Whenever Mr. Draft hears the term "Irish Bar", he is reminded of McSorley's Ale House on Manhattan's Lower East Side, staffed by first generation Irish immigrants, serving only two kinds of beer (no liquor or wine), and only opening its' aged doors to women in the early 1970's when required to do so by statute. It is quite possibly the oldest bar In New York City- though some at Pete's Tavern on Fifth Avenue may dispute that claim- and it may be Mr. Draft's favorite bar in the world...although Gritty McDuff's in Portland, Maine, and the Starry Plough in Berkeley, California are right up there. (The Plough, by the way, was rumored to be running guns for the IRA, a legend Mr. Draft chose to embrace in his younger days. And they served great fish and chips.)
However, most newer Irish bars seem to identify themselves Irish as a genre rather than as an ethnic by-product, looking forward to the money deluge of St. Patrick's Day, with the requisite green beer, corned beef and cardboard shamrocks.
Hibernia, in the space formerly occupied by Merlot (reviewed at any earlier date), may have a slightly higher pedigree. While there is nothing explicitly "Irish" about Hibernia- the name is the Latin term for Ireland- it is light years beyond its' predecessor as an inviting watering hole. The tap selection is broad and satisfying, and the decor is inviting- unlike the prior tenants. Hibernia offers good, simple pub food and the staff - including a quite capable and perky barmaid named Lindsay- are gregarious and proficient.
"Irish" bars tend to attract a high proportion of professionals from the worlds of law enforcement and fire fighting, and Hibernia is no exception. Unfortunately, Irish bars also attract large gaggles of politicians, as on the night of the Barflies' visit, when it seemed that most of the City Council was there. Now, that's a scary crowd. Hibernia rates a 7.5.
Roll Call: Mr. Draft, Mr. Merlot, Mr. Moonshine, Mr. Mix, Mr. 3BOES, Mr. Sazurac

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What was on tap?