New York Post By Gabrielle Fonrouge and Jennifer Bain November 10, 2016
McSorley’s survived prohibition, two world wars and 9/11, but one of the Big Apple’s oldest and most storied watering holes was no match for these unwanted patrons.
On Wednesday the East Village institution was slapped with a big yellow sticker and instructions to close from the Department of Health after a surprise inspection found 42 rodent droppings and “conditions conducive to vermin and pest activity,” a Department of Health spokesperson said.
“It’s probably the most embarrassment I’ve had here in 54 years; it hits hard to see it closed… Nothing phased McSorley’s in 1962, we had 9/11, the hurricanes and a little mouse closed the place,” Matthew Maher, the bar’s owner since 1977 told The Post.
“It’s the first time we’ve been closed since 1854… This is the first violation, a little mouse found a loophole.”
Maher said the droppings were found in the basement after a construction worker left a grate open when he replaced a gas pipe last week. Apparently the critter crawled in and set up shop in the ancient bar’s basement, which has hosted everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Teddy Roosevelt.
“We won’t operate a place that has a violation, are you kidding me? We had to open it up to do what we had to do and install the pipe. McSorley’s is sealed. There’s not a hope of a mouse getting in here,” Maher said.
His daughter Teresa, one of the bartenders, said there’s been a lot of construction in the building and a lot of people in and out.
“It’s not like they caught ten rats, it was droppings. We had an opening in the back and it wasn’t closed up properly,” Teresa said.
Maher said the entire family is distraught over the closing.
“This is a family place. I have two son-in-laws and two grandsons working here too. They’re very upset, they’re taking this personally, they cannot believe they closed McSorley’s because of some mouse s***,” Maher griped.
This isn’t the bar’s first run-in with rodents. An ungraded inspection from April found “evidence of mice or live mice” in the food preparation area, well before the purported construction happened, according to the DOH website. They also found evidence of mice during a May 2013 inspection.
The pub’s latest grade from May was an “A” but the hazards found Wednesday were so severe, they couldn’t be corrected at the time of the inspection and the DOH was forced to shutter the landmark. McSorley’s has to request a re-opening inspection if they ever want to ask “light or dark” again to any of the haunt’s many regulars.
The family said they’ve rectified the problems already and are waiting for an inspector to sign off on a reopening but there’s a delay because Veteran’s Day is Friday and all government offices will be closed.
Maher said it was a simple accident and these sorts of things just happen sometimes.
“The worker left the basement door open. It never should’ve happened but it did. Hillary Clinton should have taken better care for emails, but she didn’t. It happens. We’ve seen it all here.”
(I used to drink at McSorley's back in the day. They had their own brands. Sort of a precursor to all the micro-brewery bullshit that goes along today. The big gimmick they had was the quarter pint glasses with a handle that they had. You would put a couple in your mitt all in a row lined up one next to the other. You would drink out of the first one while the others poured from one glass to another until you drank them all up while spilling a bunch on yourself and the floor and everyone else. They were also famous for having the first unisex coed bathroom. You see it used to be a mans only bar until some women libber's decided to intergrate it in the early 1970's. So the owner decided to take the doors off the bathroom stalls. I haven't been there in twenty years so it might have changed. But judging from this article it must be the same dive bar piece of crap it always was.)