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129 E. 18th St., at Irving Pl. (Gramercy)
New York, NY
(1) 212-473-7676 | www.petestavern.com
AMBIANCEFamed Literary Pub
RESERVATIONSAccepted but not necessary
DOOR POLICYRelaxed; crowded on weekends and fair weather days
PRICE (APPETIZER; BEER)USD 6.50-11.95; USD 6
SIGNATURE DRINKThe 1864 Original House Ale
BARYes - long, intricately carved rosewood bar
FOOD SERVED?Yes - brunch, lunch, dinner, appetizers, and bar bites
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?Yes
SUBWAY14th St.-Union Sq. (L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6); 23rd St.-Park Ave. S. (6)
Yet another historic bar vying for the title of “Oldest in New York,” this neighborhood legend dating from 1864 is best known for its former regular, literary alcoholic O. Henry, who, in 1904, wrote his fabled “Gift of the Magi” in one of its wooden booths. Over the years, Pete’s has transformed from a literati hangout to more of a sports-loving beer drinkers’ bar, but no matter–the magic still lives on in its dark, wooden, lamp-lit interior. The current owners loyally maintain its old traditions, preserving the eclectic curio-laden décor and Pete’s own 1864 Ale.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
Keep it casual with a cute tee, jeans, and flats.
GO HERE WITH
A group of friends; significant other; a casual date; the girls
This place fills up with singles and young professionals, though happy hour also draws a fair number of NYU students, post-grads, and pub-crawlers.
WHY WE LIKE IT
It’s got history and it’s got soul. Pete’s is a true Manhattan landmark, and a must-hit for anyone looking to get a taste of Old New York. Plus, the outdoor seating is great for people watching on sunny spring days.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The food isn’t much to rave about.
GOOD TO KNOW
In case you’re looking for it, it’s rumored that O. Henry sat in the second booth to the right of the front door. And O. Henry’s weren’t the only famous scribblings, either: author Ludwig Bemelmans wrote the first lines of beloved children’s book “Madeline” at the bar here. Fun fact: back during Prohibition, Pete’s became a speakeasy disguised as a flower shop and continued to serve the era’s politicians. Delivery and takeout are available.
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