NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The historic McSorley’s Old Ale House in the East Village opened before the Civil War, but on Thursday evening, it was shut down due to health violations.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, a yellow sticker from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene appeared in the window of McSorley’s, at 15 E. 7th St., along with a piece of cardboard paper with the word “closed” in the front.
“Finally I guess they just didn’t clean up,” said customer Randy Burns. “It always was funky.”
The Health Department said it closed the popular bar, established in 1854, because of public health hazards including rats, food held at the “wrong temperature,” and conditions conducive to “vermin and pest” activity.
CBS2 tried to speak to a man inside the bar, but he declined to comment.
Regular customers were not surprised.
“It’s got it’s got its charms to it, and maybe, you know, the bathroom smelling like Lysol isn’t necessarily one of them, but there’s so much love and so much heart in this place – from the wood-burning fire that is here in the winter to the sawdust on the floor,” said Justin Cochren. “They had those wishbones on that string forever.”
Some Irish tourists were disappointed when they arrived to find McSorley’s closed.
“They only serve two beers — dark ale and light ale — and that’s all you can buy,” said tourist Mags Hylands.
For decades, McSorley’s Old Ale House was a male-only establishment, until an ordinance in the 1970s forced the bar to let women in. In fact, CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer’s picture is in a New York Daily News article posted in the window – she was one of the first women to be let in.
Indeed there is a lot of history at the bar.
“I was reading that Theodore Roosevelt, and Babe Ruth and Abe Lincoln stayed here and drank here,” said Israeli resident Shiran Peer.
The Health Department said when McSorley corrects the issues, it can ask for re-opening inspection. The department also said if McSorley’s could have corrected the problem at the time the violations were discovered, it could have stayed open.