NYC Guide: The Classics

Trapping inside their walls the history of a city that has existed as a cultural and artistic center since its development flourished in the 19th century, the historic taverns of New York City each capture a unique moment in time, the stories of legendary artists, and the ambiance of the periods that made them known. From E.E. Cummings’ famous poem “I Was Sitting in McSorley’s” to the remnants of the Great Fire of 1776 that helped construct the Ear Inn, these bars offer an atmosphere as colorful as their history.

White Horse Tavern: Legend has it that in 1953, Dylan Thomas died after taking 18 shots of whiskey at this historic New York bar. Other more fortunate, but equally notable patrons have included The Clancy Brothers, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, and Jack Kerouac. The walls of the bar are lined with the bohemian history and portraits of the artists who made the bar infamous. Cash Only. 567 Hudson Street at 11th Street

McSorley’s Old Ale House: Established in 1854, this classic Irish bar only asks that you follow one rule: “Be Good or Be Gone.” If that is not too much to ask you’ll find plenty of camaraderie and history inside. Make you way across the sawdust covered floor to the bar, where you must buy beer two mugs at a time and are limited to the bar’s own light or dark ale. Cash Only. 15 East 7th Street between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue

Ear Inn: A former smuggler’s den and brothel, the bar formerly known by its green doors was given its current name in the 1970’s when new owners painted a portion of the “B” on the outdoor neon “Bar” sign to read “Ear.” Housed in an 1817 Federal townhouse formerly owned by James Brown, President George Washington’s former aide, the bar has a rich history. However, history isn’t the only thing lingering inside this bar, the upper level is alleged to be haunted by a former boarder, a sailor by the name of Mickey. 326 Spring Street between Greenwich Street and Washington Street