Gramercy, home to every local’s favourite Irish spot, Molly’s Shebeen Opened in the sixties as Molly Malone’s after the popular Irish folk song, then renamed Molly’s Shebeen (a Shebeen being an illegal drinking establishment) in the early 90’s, when taken over by the current Irish owners. Although taken over and renamed in the nineties, Molly’s Shebeen has remained pretty much untouched since opening almost fifty years ago. Walk in through the cottage-like exterior and you can instantly see why.
Once you draw your eyes away from the fresh sawdust strewn across the floor, you are greeted by booths on your left, with benches that look very much like old church pews. Maybe it’s to draw in the Sunday crowd? Look beyond the church pews and your eyes fall onto what must be one of the only real wood burning fireplaces left in any New York bar.
Right in front of you as you walk through the door though is the warm wooden bar, lined with barstools. Getting a seat at the bar at any time of day can be tricky, but our luck is in and two become available as we order our first pint.
Now to be honest, Molly’s Guinness tap is below bar height, couple this with the fact the tap is obscured by the stacks of 20 ounce glasses in front of us, it was difficult to see the first pour. But with an Irishman with over twenty years experience in Molly’s alone at the stick, we are confidant he knows what he’s doing. Placing the first pours up on the bar in front of us we can see all is well. With the usual 119.5 seconds of anticipation out of the way we keep with tradition and raise our well crowned pints and guzzle away.
Even for coming close to the bottom of the barrel the pint is still fairly fresh tasting. The head holds its own down the glass leaving rings in its wake. As with every tasting we don’t just want to sample the ‘Black Gold’. We had heard from several sources that Molly’s was also renowned for it’s burgers, so we order one up, as well as another round of course.
The next pint was poured just as well as the first, tasting just as good too, but we are completely blown away by the amazing burger perfectly cooked to our preferred temperature. Our only regret is that we decided to share one!
We would say Molly’s has to be the Jewel in Gramercy’s crown, Like Dorian Gray’s, even if the Guinness was bad (which it isn’t) we would come back for the fantastic surroundings, great locals, bartender and of course that burger! Our only wish was that we could have tried a fresh barrel, but hey, at least it gives us an excuse to return.
Molly’s has nine drafts in total, including Murphy’s Irish Stout. Something you don’t often see around the city, we would recommend any Guinness lover give this a try if you make it down to Molly’s.
As with most New York bars Molly’s has full liquor, beer and wine compliment as well as an extensive selection of Irish and Scotch whisky’s. We didn’t see any sign of a happy hour but that would definitely not deter us from walking in the door after a hard day at the office.
You can keep up with Molly’s on Facebook and online at their website www.mollysshebeen.com