A Comic Book Bar Guide To Manhattan

Posted by January 21, 2010 Comment

The piece on the Graphic Content blog the other day made me realise that no one has really done a look at the bars in Manhattan most frequented by the comic book industry. With persistent rumours of DC Comics and Marvel making moves, maybe it’s a pertinent time to look at some of the current watering holes of the funny pages.

And it’s the Irish sports bars that seem the most popular.

McGee’s Pub And Restaurant on 240 W 54th St ( Avenue) is probably the most famous. The Irish sports bar that was the inspiration for McLauren’s in How I Met Your Mother is a popular comic book industry public house, and you’ll see Marvel and DC people sharing bars, tables and on occasion, laps.

Playwright, 27 West 35th Street (5th and 5th Avenue) was the only bar listed in the Vertigo blog, funny that’s because it’s a Marvel-favoured establishment, specifically because it’s only two blocks from Marvel’s offices. Lazy Marvel staffers there. Expect beer, inappropriate girlfriends and occasional partial nudity.

Rumors Bar And Grill , 933 8th Avenue (W 55th Street)is generally heaving and a wee bit noiser than McGee’s. This is mostly DC territory and the first time I was there I heard one comics executive loudly proclaiming about the state of his marriage that if I reported it in this column, I’d be condemned and possibly sued for. If only I was a proper gossip columnist, eh readers?

The Irish Rogue, 356 West 44th Street (9th Avenue) is a favourite creator’s meet place. Especially if you’re after a beef stew along with your fruitinis. It really used to be THE place, and I’ve had a number of clandestine meets here during the NYCC. And got one story just spotting two creators sitting together on my way out…

Another popular NYCC meetup place is the Lansdowne Road bar, 599 10th Avenue. Yes it’s Irish, yes, it’s sports, and yes it can get quite rowdy. I hear that one comic creator tried to set another on fire here. I don’t know if they succeeded. I so hope so.

One of the exceptions to the Irish dominance of the comics scene is the 24 hour french dining/drinking establishment, Maison Brasserie located on 1700 Broadway. Recognise that address? It’s in all your DC Comics, so this really is the incredibly lazy choice for DC staffers. It’s basically just down the stairs and round the corner. Once popping in here for a quick bite with an industry friend I watched as a DC legal person walking past clocked us together, kept staring, then fell over. On the street. I almost choked on my croissant.

The original Palm steakhouse restaurant/bar on 827 2nd Avenue makes for a historic evenue, principally because of the cartoons and caricatures that decorate the wall. A favourite spot for some the the ancillairy staff the the comics industry who want to impress upon people that, yes, they work in comics. Though most go to the West Avenue venue now (250 W 50th St, Broadway 8th) for pure proximity…

Then there’s Keen’s Bar/Steakhouse on 36th Street (5th and 6th Avenues) – for right wing comics creators who like their meat, like it bloody and like to drink it down with fizzy lemonade pretending to be beer.

And there’s also another that I’ve been asked not to mention. Because if I do, Garth Ennis will kill me. I’ve read Wormwood, I know he’s not kidding.

(Last Updated January 21, 2010 3:08 pm )

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