01 November 2013

The Dublin House

The Upper West Side doesn't have much grit these days. But there are still a few lovably dingy corners. Stubbornly continuing to throw some dirt on the shiny shoes of Manhattan's most sanitized neighborhood is The Dublin House.

This 79th-street Irish pub has a ludicrously grand presence on the street. Its absolutely fabulous, one-story-tall, neon harp announces its presence from blocks away. Surely this must be a tavern of great note, the tourist much conclude upon gazing up at its neon glory.

Then you walk through the double doors and see this: A narrow, fairly nondescript bar with a linoleum floor and a low acoustical-tile ceiling, a row of stools along the right, a row of two-seater booths to the right.

There's an old Timex wall clock near the front and a pay phone cubby in the back—two sure signs a bar has been around for some good time.

There's also this fairly spacious room in the back, which I'm certain was added in more recent years. No doubt it's used for private parties. 

A bit of history. According to the bar's website, a man named Carway rented the space back in 1921 and operated it as a speakeasy.  The first floor was the bar, the second floor the restaurant, the back of the third floor was the kitchen. There was a dumb waiter where the phone booth currently is. Carway bought the building in 1933 after Prohibition was repealed. At that time, he erected the neon harp sign. Perhaps he made the sign so big and bright as a sort of rebuke to The Noble Experiment.

The bar remained family-owned and operated for the next 85 years, with Carway's nephew Chris Water taking over at some point.  Mike Cormican, a Dublin House bartender (and born in Ireland), bought it in 2006. He's a small man with white hair. I saw him busying himself about the place when I was last there, saying hello to the regulars, who mostly spoke with Irish accents.


Anonymous said...

I was a happy denizen of the Dublin House in the 1970's when Schaefer on tap ran for 25 cents a nip. In the early 1980's, Chris installed a Guinness tap,as I recall. He was a gentleman and his son often helped out behind the bar.

rumah dijual di surabaya said...

very nice...