Not too many bars in the world can claim to have served celebrities ranging from Hollywood actors to rock stars to authors to a slew of U.S. presidents. McSorley's Old Ale House in New York City can: Stars from Adam Sandler to Hunter S. Thompson, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Woody Guthrie have been sighted knocking back pints there, some on a regular basis, since the bar opened around 1854. But if you're hoping to pop in for a drink at this Manhattan landmark in the very near future, you might be out of luck. McSorley's has just been shut down by the health department.
The bar's health violations might not surprise anyone who has spent time in other crusty old dives: Rat sightings, temperature violations, and "conditions which allow insects to thrive," as NY1 reports.
Still, the news is a bummer for New Yorkers and visitors, not to mention for the age-defying McSorley's, which has escaped health violations in the past despite using the wishbones of old Thanksgiving turkeys as decorations, among its other dubious-but-charming quirks.
McSorley's is also famous for its role in a 1970 Supreme Court case, which ruled that the bar and other men-only saloons must admit women. The bar once had a sign saying “Notice. No Back Room in Here for Ladies.”
Joseph Mitchell immortalized McSorley's in a juicy New Yorker piece about the bar, published in 1940 and an excellent article to read while waiting to get back into the shuttered place, hopefully by later this week. The bar plans to submit its application for reinspection today.
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