I’m always a little skeptical of Irish pubs that feel the need to actually put the word Irish in their name. It would be like a sushi restaurant calling itself The Japanese Samurai Fishery or something. I don’t know; it’s just one of my little qualms. Honestly The Irish Rogue need not be Irish at all, as it can stand on its own two American feet as a decent sports pub. Yeah, you heard me: a sports pub. Call it a wacky hybrid where you can comfortably order a dark beer and watch a Yankee game. After walking by this place several hundred times on the way to and from work, I finally stopped in one evening with a co-worker. The lighting was pleasant, as was the nice mixture of brass and wood. The ceiling looks like someone took some time to decorate, and the high tables were great for sports and people watching. The barmaids were actually Irish and very pleasant, and the Guinness was poured with care. Where was this place in 1995 when I was stuck watching football in the Winger-lovin’ Bear Bar? Well, even if it was around, I highly doubt I would have come down from my UES perch to this odd Midtown location. This particular area has quite a few bars that might fit the vague description of the sports bar, but most of those dotting Eighth Avenue are so crowded and loud, both sports and beer are an afterthought. This joint seems to have struck a nice balance, catering to the after work man in us all who, after all, wants nothing more than to kick back with a brew and watch Gary Sheffield smack the crap out of the ball. [MF]
356 W 44th St.