McSorley’s, one of America’s oldest eating and drinking establishments, is now closed with a bright yellow sticker from the Department of Health on the door. The DOH database does not yet show any information about yesterday’s inspection, although it usually takes about a day to update. EV Grieve notes that the bar is filled with presidential ephemera, so it was a curious choice for a DOH inspection on the day after the election.
The bar, which dates back to the 1850s, has had to make changes to comply with DOH regulations over the last decade. McSorley’s had to tell its lounging kitties to take a hike six years ago, and that same year, proprietor Matthew Maher had to remove and clean the dozen or so wishbones that hung from a chandelier above the bar. Many of those poultry scraps had been placed there by doughboys who left for World War 1 but never returned. At the time, Maher remarked: "It’s kind of — how would you put it? It’s something you didn’t want to touch. It’s the last thing I wanted to touch or see touched."
Stay tuned for more updates on the fate of McSorley’s as they become available.
Update: The DOH shut down the bar after finding "evidence of rat activity." Maher tells DNAinfo that construction at nearby Cooper Square caused the rat invasion. Equipment and newly opened pipes "was a haven for rats," he says, adding that rats probably got in when workers left the basement door open a few weeks ago.
Maher and his daughter Teresa will be attending a hearing on Monday and hope to clear things up after that. They've hired an exterminator and have purchased a new fridge. "We're doing our best to seal the building," Teresa Maher says. "Now we're aware of what we gotta do and that's it."
DOH temporarily closes McSorley's [EV Grieve]