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McSorley's patrons have included President Lincoln and John Lennon.
As if 2016 hasn't already wreaked enough havoc on our fragile emotional states, on Wednesday, New York City's Department of Health temporarily shuttered legendary East Village bar McSorley's. While, so far, no reason has been provided for the closure, neighborhood blog EV Grieve points out the unfortuitous timing: "Given the bar's ample presidential paraphernalia, an inspection the day after Election Night seems curious."
According to a report on the DoH website, McSorley's last passed its inspection in May this year—earning an A, with only two violation points for "Sanitary violations: Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Nonfood contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above, and underneath the unit."
Opened in 1854, McSorley's is Manhattan's "oldest continuously operated saloon," according to its website. McSorley's bar patrons have included President Lincoln and John Lennon—and in 1970, women were finally allowed into the venue for the first time, following a Supreme Court case waged by attorney Faith Seidenberg and her friend Karen DeCrow, who later went on to become president of the National Organization of Women. "On Aug. 10, 1970, after a federal judge issued a landmark ruling in their favor and on the very afternoon that Mayor John V. Lindsay signed legislation barring discrimination in public places on the basis of sex, the manager of McSorley's invited Barbara Shaum, who owned a leather goods store two doors away, into the tavern as the first female patron admitted under the new law," the New York Times writes.
As for this week's events, Eater points out that the bar has had to make decor adjustments and repatriate its house cats in recent years: "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."
Here's hoping this current closure doesn't last long.