By Paul Bisceglio
Never fear, New York. In the words of McSorley’s Old Ale House’s facebook page, the city’s oldest continually operated saloon “aint going anywhere.”
Rumor spread on Monday that McSorley’s was on its way out when Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York posted the following report from an artist friend who went to the 7th St. alehouse to photograph it:
“There were about 4 or 5 guys out front in a group and one off to the side. The guy to the side asked me why I was taking photos of the place. He said that he was the owner of the building and had been trying hard to sell the place. Said he was tired of the city and wanted to move up to Albany.”
Jeremiah Moss, who runs the blog, posted the story on the McSorley’s Old Ale House facebook page with the note “Say it ain’t so.” To the relief of the alehouse’s many devotees, McSorley’s responded that it wasn’t.
McSorley’s “liked” Moss’s post and wrote, “No worries. We, and especially Matty [owner Matthew Maher], aint going anywhere. Especially not to Albany.
McSorley’s has been a downtown staple since 1854, and its old-timey charm, celebrity patrons and unique history have inspired works by numerous artists and writers, including the poem “I was sitting in mcsorleys” by E. E. Cummings, the painting “McSorely’s Bar” by John Sloan and several New Yorker articles by Joseph Mitchell.
Vanishing New York noted that the alehouse’s closure would not have been entirely unexpected. McSorley’s has wrestled with city regulations in recent years that banned its resident cat and forced them to clear dust off the delicate wishbones that hang above its bar.
Who the person actually was who said that McSorley’s was being sold and why he said it has yet to be uncovered. Stay tuned for details.
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