Tipsters have been very good to me this week. A reader, knowing how important the 2006 demise of the Times Square bar McHale's was to this blog, alerted me to the fact that the tavern's great old neon sign had not been lost to the scrap heap. It had been bought and saved, and hung inside Emmett O'Lunney's pub on W. 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth.
Could this be true? I trembled with excitement.
I happened to be in Midtown when I got this bit of information. I collect myself and walked straight to W. 50th to O'Lunney's, a bar I had never entered, or thought about entering.
I went in and, lo and behold, there in the back room, hung high among the table seating, was a familiar green, red and blue neon sign that said "BAR" in big letters and "AIR CONDITIONING" in small ones. The thing is much bigger than I remember it being.
The manager confirmed the sign was from McHale's. The owner apparently made an offer on the sign in the days before McHale's closed, and Jimmy McHale took the deal. The sign was restored and installed.
Below is a picture of the sign when it hung above McHale's, on the corner of 46th and Eighth. No word on what became of the "McHale's" part of the sign.
I am from here on a devotee of O'Lunney's pub.