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Does anything come close to McHale's?

Meg Feb 16, 2007 06:49 AM

Spent an unforgettable evening there a year and a half ago at the recommendation of Manhattan Hounds (also had two fabulous haute cuisine, expensive meals in the city, but McHale's was the highlight of the trip). Just booked a trip to the city in March and immediately looked up McHale's hoping to find that the demolition had been postponed. Sadly not.

Staying near Times Square. Is there anything in the vicinity (or not) that has that old authentic neighborhood bar atmosphere? Somewhere where two ex-Pittsburghers can feel at home, leaving our cash on the bar to be debited, and while away an entire evening without even realizing it. I'll start there, because I imagine that paired with McHale quality burgers is probably an impossibility. But one can hope.

TIA

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  1. k
    KTinNYC Feb 16, 2007 06:54 AM

    The burger at Molly's is the equal of McHale's. The bar itself is smaller but it's not a bad place to spend the night.

    1. Meg Feb 16, 2007 06:58 AM

      KT, is that Molly's Pub & Shebeen on Third Ave.?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Meg
        e
        ESNY Feb 16, 2007 07:02 AM

        That is the Molly's. Great place, great burgers good pint of guiness. The actual bar is kind of small, maybe 10-15 seats but they have plenty of tables too. And a fireplace if it is cold out.

        1. re: Meg
          k
          KTinNYC Feb 16, 2007 07:40 AM

          Yes, Molly's Pub and Shebeen on 3rd and 22nd. Go, you'll love it.

        2. b
          bobby06877 Feb 16, 2007 07:06 AM

          Strong secong for Mollys. It is also referred to as Mollys Shabeen. It is on 3rd and 22nd. I like the burger at Mollys more than the one at McHales. It is a little whole in the wall place that you could easily walk past but it is a great place to hangout, grab a burger and some great Irish beer. Enjoy!

          1. livetotravel Feb 16, 2007 08:04 AM

            Molly's for sure.

            And even though I'm not a big fan of their burger (it is good, just not great), PJ Clarke's does have a nice old timey NYC saloon vibe.

            2 Replies
            1. re: livetotravel
              Meg Feb 16, 2007 08:09 AM

              With two nights in town, I'm happy to have two bar rec's. How's the food at PJ Clarke's? Or is it a drink only type place?

              1. re: Meg
                k
                KTinNYC Feb 16, 2007 08:14 AM

                The menu at PJ Clarke's is more extensive than at Molly's but it's good. I use to go when I worked in the neighborhood but have not been since the renovations. Much bigger and more crowded than Molly's.

            2. p
              psawce Feb 16, 2007 09:12 AM

              The Great thing about McHale's was that it always had a nice crowd but never seemed like it was mobbed. PJ Clarke's is mobbed all the time. Try Peter McManus Cafe (152 Seventh Ave.
              at 19th St.).

              1 Reply
              1. re: psawce
                k
                KTinNYC Feb 16, 2007 09:21 AM

                I work near McManus and have tried the burger several times. Cannot hold a candle to Molly's. A very underrated bar burger in the neighborhood is Woody McHales on 14th. Close to 8th than 7th. South side of the street.

              2. Meg Feb 16, 2007 10:29 AM

                Burger aside, do Peter McManus' and Woody McHale's (any relation?) come close to McHale's ambiance?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Meg
                  k
                  KTinNYC Feb 16, 2007 10:40 AM

                  In a word, no. The neighborhood at McHale's helped make it special. Being right on the border of the theater district and Times Square McHale's had such an eclectic crowd. Stage hands, hustlers, actors, office workers, blue collar guys, office workers, you name it. The people were as diverse as could be and there was never any tension. In fact it made up the atmophere. The place will be missed.

                  There is no relation between the 2 McHale's.

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