Peter McManus

Peter McManus Cafe

Peter McManusThis joint is as out of place in Chelsea as a piano bar in Bayonne. Old drunks litter the even older space that wreaks of the days when Chelsea was clearly not the Chelsea of today. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that this was more of an Irish working class neighborhood that was filled with hard-working and hard-drinking fellas who appreciated a nice spot to rest their weary feet and chow down on a burger or sandwich and wash it down with a lager or ten. My wonky knowledge of historical Manhattan’s Caucasian subculture aside, I dug this place like an old, stinky great uncle. You know, full of history and character—and booze. I had a terrific burger that practically bled through the plate (the best kind) at one of the creaky, plastic-check-clothed tables in back, and then moved up front to watch a little baseball and work my way through several cold beers. The bartender was clearly comfortable with the regulars who lined the wooden bar, and was quick with a refill. This is one of those bars that you hope doesn’t get shoved aside (like our poor friend McHale’s) because it gives a neighborhood a sense of itself, and really keeps it grounded when all those one-word, neon eateries invade with their arugula and appletinis. [MF]

152 7th Ave.