The White Horse Tavern is a famous bar on the corner of Hudson and 11th Street. It was Dylan Thomas's regular pub and Jack Kerouac was thrown out of it so many times somebody wrote on the bathroom wall "Go home Jack!" It is also one of the first bars I went to after officially moving to the boroughs. It's awesome.
That's not the place I'm talking about though. Bring your lady there. Bring your parents there. I'll be at the similar but not same named Whitehorse Tavern in the Financial District. I don't know who you could bring there. Somebody without much to live for I suppose. Did I mention this is my favorite bar in the city?
How do I describe it? There is a second floor that I've never made it to. It's cheap. Very cheap. One of those Cowboy Special places. Pint can of PBR and a shot of rack liquor for $5. To really live the full experience pick Old Crow Whiskey as your shot with the special. You'll thank me never. It tastes awful. Fun fact. During the Civil War a Pennsylvania brigade thought Old Crow was the only good thing to ever come from the South. They even wrote to Lincoln about it. Guess they never tried pecan pie.
There is an old lady who walks around there. Presumably the owner. Her name is Helen. She’s Irish. It says on Yelp if you remember her name she’ll give you a free drink but I haven’t seen it happen. I think the secret is saying hello in a threatening manner. Old people scare easily. Maybe give her a little shake. Like a magic 8 ball. Jostle her and turn her upside down. Outlook good for a drink now.
The clientele is all male. There may be a couple of suits because of where it’s located but mostly regular filthy dudes. Not that I’m damning the place for it. This is actually right in my wheelhouse. I don’t want to get drunk in front of women. Then I might actually end up talking to one. Why would I want to do that? So we could go out to dinner? Laugh at the same things? Share a dessert? Fall in love? Go on a couple’s cruise? No god damn you. I can’t. I get sea sick man. How am I going to spend a week on a boat?
The food was suitably depressing. I ate Sheppard’s Pie. There is nothing more appropriate to eat while drowning your sorrows than Sheppard’s Pie. It’s the saddest bastard on the menu. It comes with a side order of pity. I can’t stand pity. I’ve always been more of a French fry man. But I would take pity over onion rings.
Walking distance from N, R, 4, 5 and 1.
No onion rings
I wish I was there now
Men only (unofficially)
I'm not there
CONCLUSION: If Jack Kerouac was alive today I'd bet my life this is the Whitehorse he would prefer. I hope one day the bathroom wall will say "Get out Jim!" Then one day somebody will ask "Who is Jim?" and the bartender will say "I think he was the guy who kept ordering the Sheppard's Pie. God he could be depressing."