Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Peter McManus Cafe

One of the best places in the city for a beer and a burger is Pete McManus. On 7th Ave in Chelsea, the bar was opened in 1936 by brothers Peter and James. It hasn't changed much since. The Times has described it as ''an inviting place in a rough-and-tumble sort of way, with a well-worn tile floor, lead-paned windows and a splendid carved mahogany bar.''

New York Magazine notes it's the oldest family-run bar in the city, still under the guidance of grandson James.

The place has all the things that are good about a bar: wood worn smooth by countless elbows, a warm amber glow, crazy but friendly barflies who look as if they've been pickled in the place, which they have. It even has a lovely pair of wooden phone booths that light up when you open their doors as if welcoming you into them.

But, like all good old bars in this city, you have to visit early. After 7:00, the kids come out. These kids are not the well-heeled, yunnie spillovers from the Meatpacking District that clog Corner Bistro, and they're not even the frat boys and girls that murder McSorley's every night. They seem a little smarter and a little closer to 30 than 20. It's not great, but it could be worse.

1 comment:

Greg said...

The problem later on is not so much the clientele, its just that the bar gets too crowded. Glad to still have it around though.