GIN MILLS| The Emerald Inn, an iconic refuge on the Upper West Side

EmeraldThe Emerald Inn, a piece of Old New York between 69th and 70th streets on Columbus Avenue.

Walking out of the slushy mess that was the Upper West Side of Manhattan on Monday and into the snug comfort of the Emerald Inn, an Irish bar that’s been a neighborhood staple for decades, was like happening on an oasis in a desert.

The Emerald, as its denizens know it, was started in 1943 or 1944 and has been a fixture ever since. Earlier this year, though, it looked like the Emerald might go the way of the Dodo. When the building’s owners informed the Campbell family that their rent would double, plans were made to shutter the bar at the end of April. The poor economy, however, proved the Emerald’s savior, as no new tenant could be found for the space. For two more years at least, the Times reported earlier this year, the Emerald will carry on.

Readers who enjoy the discovery of time capsules left by an earlier New York will delight in the Emerald, whose walnut paneling probably dates to the Don Draper era or earlier. A group of about eight booths surround a long, narrow main bar, behind which is cabinetry that was probably installed around 1970. Truly, the only modern things about the Emerald are its flat-paneled televisions. You might also like the people watching. Beyond the neighborhood gang who are happy to have found an unassuming oasis, the ABC crowd is also particularly fond of the place.

Try the burger or the fish and chips and obviously, take a Guinness. The food is modestly priced, but the pints are about $5. No matter — the atmosphere more than makes up for it.

The Emerald Inn
205 Columbus Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10023
(212) 874-8840


2 Responses to “GIN MILLS| The Emerald Inn, an iconic refuge on the Upper West Side”
  1. Speedmaster says:

    Just recently discovered your blog and love it! I’m in Rochester, and we visit the Old Forge area every year. Made it to Saranac this past summer, too.

  2. Ed says:

    Very impressed with your blog as well. Thanks for the refer on the John Cooper Works Mini. What did you think of the northern end of the park?

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