McSorley's Old Ale House opens its doors today after more than a two-month-plus closure during the COVID-19 crisis.
Longtime bartender Gregory de la Haba, whose wife, Teresa Maher de la Haba, is the owner, gave us a rundown on what you'll find at the saloon on Seventh Street near Cooper Square.
"We’ll keep a limited menu of burgers, sandwiches and hot dogs," he said of their to-go items. "And we’ll implement all the necessary precautions like wearing face masks, and we've already installed four hand sanitizers with one at the entrance. Doesn’t quite go with the decor of the aged and charred wood but for now who gives a shit. Safety first."
Food aside, they'll also be selling growlers to go. And you can expect to see some familiar faces when picking up food or beer to take home. "We kept all our staff, and everyone wants to get back to work."
This is also the longest the circa-1854 McSorley's has ever been dark.
"Billy McSorley closed the bar for one full week when his father John died in 1910. Hurricane Sandy closed our bar for five days," de la Haba said. "But we had no closures during the Spanish Flu, the Civil War — or the riots due to [the War] — or any other war or outbreak. But this is also the first government mandated closing."
For now, McSorley's will be serving daily from 1 to 8 p.m. for at least the next two weeks while they see what the city does with a reopening plan.
"The uncertainty into the unknown is what’s driving most business owners mad," he said. "And the 25 or 50 percent occupancy will be the nail in the coffin for most — especially if it lasts more than one month."