A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 26, 2006
“Good Ale, Raw Onions and No Ladies” (McSorley’s Ale House)
"Good Ale, Raw Onions and No Ladies" used to be the slogan of McSorley's Ale House, at 15 East 7th Street. McSorley's has been around since 1854; the Bridge Cafe is older, but McSorley's certainly has tradition.

Ladies are now admitted to McSorley's.

McSorley's Old Ale House, at 15 E. 7th St., is almost as ancient, though not in the same class. It was founded in 1854 by John McSorley, a native of Ireland, who established the motto "Good Ale, Raw Onions, and No Ladies." Legend has it that the only female to crash MCSORLEY'S as a customer was Maggie Cline of "Throw Him Down McCloskey" fame, disguised as a man. So strictly has the "no females" rule been en-forced, that a New York gentleman attempting to take refuge there during one of the 1950 hurricanes was refused admittance because he was escorting a lady! Patrons of MCSORLEY'S have ranged from day laborers to leading politicians. Artists have found the atmosphere congenial and a famous painting by John Sloan of Mc-SORLEY'S now hangs in the Art Museum in Detroit.

Old John is gone, but his spirit lives on. Founded in 1854 by "Old John" McSorley, who modeled it after a saloon in his Irish hometown of Omagh, McSorley's is the oldest bar in New York City. Not much has changed since it was a watering hole for immigrant butchers, bricklayers and teamsters, except for John's motto -- "good ale, raw onions, no ladies" -- which had to be amended in 1970 after women were finally allowed to drink at this East Village landmark. Aged hardwood floors, tables and chairs make up the furniture. Sawdust is still spread out on the floor and swept up each night. And the urinals are Brobdingnagian.

3 January 1937, New York Times, "Is Women's Place at the Bars?" by John T. McManus, pg. 124:
IT is a significant commentary on our changing times that McSorley's Ale House in Seventh Street has discontinued its raw onion bowl. The omission of this once indispensable free-lunch item is proof, in itself, that even McSorley's recognizes, despite the fact that no woman has been permitted to cross its threshold in eighty-odd years, that women and the foaming flagon are no longer sworn enemies.

1 August 1943, New York Times, pg. BR19 ad:
McSorley's is the oldest and most independent saloon in the city -- its motto is "Good Ale, Raw Onions and No Ladies"

McSorley's Wonderful Saloon

29 February 1952, New York Times, "Boys of McSorley's Whoop It Up For Oldest Oldtimer, Who's 90," pg. 25:
McSorley's, at 15 East Seventh Street, is eight years older than Mr. Reilly. Old John McSorley founded it on a policy of "good ale, raw onions and no ladies" and it has been a last sanctuary from encroaching womanhood ever since.

Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: RESTAURANT AND BAR SERVICES. FIRST USE: 18540000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 18540000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 75579404
Filing Date October 29, 1998
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) McSorley's Old Ale House, Inc. CORPORATION NEW YORK 15 East 7th Street New York NEW YORK 10003
Attorney of Record DAVID B PALINSKY
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date September 16, 2000

Posted by Barry Popik
Restaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • (1) Comments • Sunday, February 26, 2006 • Permalink