Old-Timey Drinking at McSorley's Old Ale House
McSorley's is one of the oldest Irish taverns in New York City. The Old Ale House opened its doors in 1854. This historic drinking hole was a stop for Civil War soldiers before they went off to fight. In fact, Coopers Union, where Abe Lincoln would give speeches, is right around the corner; and he was known to pop in for a drink. As tradition would have it, soldiers during World War I would hang wishbones over the bar - which can still be seen today.
'Be Good Or Be Gone' has always been the motto of McSorley's.
I first read about McSorley's in the Joseph Mitchell book: Up in the Old Hotel. The writer wrote about his experience at McSorley's in the 1940's when he worked for the New Yorker. The bar used to be a 'Men Only' drinking establishing - up until 1970. And, as always, there's still sawdust on the floor.