Drinkin With The Irish Girls

250px-Fraunces_Tavern,_south_side In 2011 I posted an essay, The Desecration of Fraunces Tavern, basically railing the then recent renovations of lower Manhattan’s historic eatery, with perfectly good reason I might add.

It was taken over by The Porterhouse Brewing Company who completely changed the ambiance of the place leaving me crestfallen the last time I was there.

I was admonished by a reader who said they should be praised for restoring the original beams and and using wood from old water tanks to build their tables. Though that may be true, what they also did was take the warmth and coziness away. She slapped my wrist but good when I complained about what I called ‘the original menu’ stating how menus didn’t even exist in the 1770s. Okay, I made a mistake, but her mistake was not seeing how history just now seems absent. That said…I didn’t go back for well over a year till yesterday when I ran in to use their ladies room. Oddly enough, with the exception of the low lighting which could be dangerous if you’ve had one two many cocktails, it felt the same. When I finished applying gloss in the dark, I stuck my head into the bar, that at noon, was already jumping.

Every bar stool was taken along with many of the tables occupied by quite a few attractive women. The barmaid, a pretty one herself, asked if I wanted to sit. “Okay,” I said, not planning to, but there was something familiar in the air…wasn’t sure what it was…but it made me remember how much I had liked Fraunces.

Historically it had been very important to me since this is where General George Washington, on December 4th, 1783, said good-bye to his troops, a room one can still visit on an upper floor. I loved taking the express downtown just to peek into that famous room before having lunch in the now much altered dining room. I’d drag my friends for New England clam chowder and chicken pot pie where they’d get a history lesson while eating. It was, by far, one of my favorite restaurants and the loss of it, with the feel of a fast food chain, has been felt.

Back at the bar, I sat between two Irish girls drinking pints of dark beer…Mary and Colleen who, until I showed up, didn’t know one another. They were both, oddly enough, waiting for their boyfriends, Tom and Liam.

Always on the prowl for an essay, I asked Colleen where she was from. “Dooblin,” she said, “we coom ta see the sates.” She was all of eighteen cute as a can be with strawberry blonde hair, skin the color of cream and boobs, as my friend Rich likes to say, like calling cards.

Cleavage must be big in Dooblin.

Mary was from Cork but now lives in Galway where she goes to school. “I loove it here,” she said, “it’s me tird time in Monhot-ten. Lee-um had nat beeen. Now he looves it as woll.” On cue this burly guy with arms like Popeye came bounding in. “Dere’s me Maddy,” he said, grabbing her around her ample waist.

All I can say is, I guess it’s okay to be a few pounds overweight in Ireland since these girls made three of me. I was in awe of the natural affection they all shared…kissing, hugging…acting as if they knew one another all their lives.

I’m not a beer drinker but became one so not to be rude. Toom, Colleen’s fella, finally came, and the four of them were now inseparable. It was so loud I couldn’t understand how they could hear what one other was saying since I hadn’t a clue.

When I politely excused myself they waved their pints in farewell, foam spilling, as I took a wobbly leave. Who knew a couple of pints could be so potent.

I popped upstairs to the museum to pay my respects to George before heading home. I still miss the colonial feeling Fraunces, that for me, no longer has. But as the girl who wrote in defending the new proprietors said, it’s been rented from its owners, The Sons of the Revolution, by so many that I’m hoping someone with the same old fashioned taste as me takes it over.

This is New York after all where change is always imminent and anything is possible.

Just two reasons why I loove it here.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in History, New York City, Uncategorized, women, Women and men and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Drinkin With The Irish Girls

  1. micklively says:

    The Irish get everywhere. I love them. They say, after the nuclear holocaust, there will only be cockroaches and Irish left. Is there a city in the world that doesn’t have an Irish bar? I moved to Singapore and my new colleagues organised a drink to celebrate my arrival: Muddy Murphy’s, Orchard Road. There was something bizarre about flying for fourteen hours to drink Guinness.
    The weight thing is about diet. Apparently, they only eat potatoes and absentee landlords: well, something like that, anyway.


    • That reminds me of a Bill Hicks joke…at the end of the world the only ones left will be cockroaches and Keith Richards…a favorite of mine…the joke, not Keith.

      They were a very jolly bunch and it did me good to be in their company to remind me to be joyful where I am. Dour me tends to forget to enjoy the present moment…I remember a trip you took, for the weekend, to a beer festival? Does that ring a Guinnessy bell?


      • micklively says:

        Yes, the Irish can do that for you. Their history is not happy (mostly because of the English!), but they seem to keep bouncing back. I remember doing a week’s summer school at Keele University, where I met lads from Dublin and Belfast. I laughed so long and so hard, I was exhausted.
        Yes, I recall the beer festival. Happy days! I missed it this year: I’m not sure how. I’m more a strong bitter or IPA man, rather than stout though. You generate a better class of headache that way.


      • I had an Irish neighbor who moved back to Dublin. He was a toughie but I liked him a lot. If I needed anything he could be counted on. Can’t say that about everybody. Getting chilly here…autumn is upon us.


  2. Lisa says:

    While I don’t think that commenter understood that you do have a right to your own opinion (whether or not they agree with it), but it sounds like business is going well with the change. And at least you can visit the room as well, I have no idea how I’d feel about the place before or after but I can completely understand not liking the change of something you loved so much before.


    • Thanks Lisa. It was just a favorite place to go and no one hates change more than I do so, there you have it. I did enjoy myself the hour or so I was there but that was because I had this happy, elated group that were just so glad to be in New York to focus on. When I’m in essay mode, I don’t care about much else. Thanks again.


  3. being second generation American of Irish descent… I love this post! The drinking sounds like any and every family reunion we have, any family celebration we have or for that matter, any Friday night. I agree with you, not a beer drinker… the only one in my family who isn’t… but I will drink one every now and then, or I at least make certain there is plenty of hard cider around… 😉


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