The ongoing thirst for the perfect public house leads to Manhattan’s PJ Clarke’s

In this week’s article on the American Public House Review, Chris Poh takes us to a true Manhattan institution.  It is a place with a somewhat murky history and an incredibly inviting atmosphere called PJ Clarke’s.

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Take a stroll around the place.  See Frank Sinatra’s regular table, and the photos of all the luminaries who have graced these very same barstools you are about to occupy.  You may be impressed with all the famous people, but you will be even more impressed with the overwhelming sense of history and belonging this little brick tavern possesses amidst the shadows of the steel giants surrounding PJ Clarke’s in midtown Manhattan.

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In my posting about Molly’s Shebeen, I mention that certain indescribable feeling that old Manhattan bars have.  It is an atmospheric element that is unique to taverns on this island and PJ Clarke’s defines it.  It is Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen at the same time.  It is all together colonial and roaring twenties.  It is warm and inviting, while also feeling like the scene of a Vito Corleone style hit.  If none of that makes sense, please remember that I started the paragraph by calling it indescribable.

by Dave McBride

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