P.J. Clarke's

Words by Simon Difford on 19-May-2013

Address: 915 Third Avenue, (corner 55th Street), New York, NY, 10022, United States
Tel: +1 212 317 1616
Email: privateaffairsNY@pjclarkes.com
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Daily 11:30am-4am
Door: Open door
Style: Pub traditional
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Established: 1884


A classic Manhattan boozer and something of a museum piece. The surrounding high-rise skyline dwarfs the 1868 building where little has changed since Mr. Jennings turned this place into a bar in 1884. It was christened after Irish bartender Patrick Joseph 'Paddy' Clarke took over in 1902.

Dark wooden panelled walls, a worn mahogany counter running two-thirds the way down the long rectangular room with a zinc topped oyster counter opposite. Stained leaded-light glass and photos of former barkeeps overlooking proceedings complete the antique decor.

When the local offices turn out so this place comes alive and it stays that way until the small hours. Chaps in jackets and chinos or pin striped/grey suits accompanying younger women from the office set the early evening seen, gradually replaced by a more serious drinking crowd as night turns to morning.

The drinks offering sees a splattering of decent brews, single malts, premium vodkas and 12 wines by the glass. The nose of the odd Martini being shaken permeates the din of the bar and legendary barman Doug Quinn will happily knock up classics in breakneck speed. Be sure to try the 'Patrick Joseph Clarke Sidecar' and the 'The Cadillac' burger with smoked bacon.