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.


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.


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



Searching two bars for Dunmore Throop

In our very first issue, we were introduced to the writings of a mysterious former employee of Scotland Yard name Dunmore Throop.  For some reason this international man of intrigue, and I guy that only editor Chris Poh has ever met…well, allegedly met, seems to enjoy strolling along the Delaware River during is days off.
The bar at the Indian Rock Inn

The bar at the Indian Rock Inn

Along the way he discovered a lovely spot called the Indian Rock Inn.  In my ongoing pursuit to find and actually talk to Mr. Throop, I stopped at the Indian Rock to question the help there about Mr. Throop’s visit.  No one seemed to have any idea who I was talking about.  But that is not at all surprising since I can only imagine that for security’s sake Mr. Throop did not reveal his true identity.  I mean after all, from years of working undercover at the Yard, he must still have quite a few people who would pay handsomely for information on his whereabouts. 

at Manhattan's famous White Horse Tavern

Manhattan's White Horse Tavern

But I must admit that I am somewhat worried about Mr. Throop these days.  The last time we heard from him was February when he reported to us from Manhattan’s famed White Horse Tavern.  The White Horse is one of America’s most historic pubs, and was once the favorite hangout of the legendary poet Dylan Thomas.  Mr. Throop seemed as enthralled with the place is Thomas himself was.

I tried to trace Mr. Throop’s steps here as well, but met with even less cooperation from those I interrogated there.  It seemed almost as though he had instructed them to cover for him.  There are a lot of people in Manhattan, and an awful lot of mysterious things can happen to mysterious people like Dunmore Throop.  But even though I may worry a bit, in my heart I do believe he will return from his hideaway soon enough.  This is a man who has served Scotland Yard well for decades.  A man like that is not easily found.

by David McBride

A Place Where Everyone Wins

McSorley\'s Old Ale House I would not be one to say that I support the tactics or candidacy of the lady senator from New York; but I can not find any joy in the fact that after the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, Hillary Clinton has, although still stubbornly living in denial, lost her bid to become president. Like most human beings I spend a good portion of my life rooting for my guy, my cause, my side, my country, my party, my team and so on and so forth.

McSorleys Painting

 On that rare occasion my horse actually comes in – as was the case at this year’s Kentucky Derby. With any victory there is that moment of gotcha and glee; but if you take the time to wipe the champagne from your eyes and look around – you’re bound to notice that someone is crying, someone is in pain and someone has lost. It seems that there is no human endeavor, no matter how well-intentioned, that doesn’t result in some degree of hardship for our fellowman.

I would like to think that beyond this life there exists a place where everyone wins, and where potential is achieved without doing harm to others – a place where your glass is always full and your heart is never empty!  Valhalla – Heaven – Nirvana – Eden or just…

Back Room at McSorley\'s

 the back room at McSorley’s Old Ale House!

Posted by: Chris Poh, Publisher – American Public House Review

%d bloggers like this: