Ml Happy Hour: Following The Mistress of Convenience At Connolly’s

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so it seems only natural to have a happy hour column on the site. Every Friday afternoon our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap.

One of the many reasons we work in the city and put up with the various daily nuisances involved boils down to convenience. There is an exceptionally wide array of desirable goods and services available within a concentrated area that is relatively easy to access. This is generally a good thing, but we all know what they say about too much of a good thing. Convenience is a lovely, seductive lady, but she comes with a dark side. She can lead you to places you really didn’t want to go. And so it was that one afternoon, while on the Eastside and feeling a mighty thirst, I found myself at another Connolly’s. I had my reservations, however the mistress that is convenience has a way of bending your elbow.

I slunk into a seat at Connolly’s on E.47th with a pint of Sam Adams. All Connolly’s have rotating drink specials: usually a couple of select beers at $5 a pint and fruity martinis at a deal breaking $8. The bar is narrow and elbowroom and comfort are sacrificed for volume.

Like its brethren, this outpost of Connolly’s collects more badges than a boyscout. Patches donated by firefighters, union members, and NYPD trim the bar like garland on a Christmas tree. In every other respect the various Connolly’s are cookie cutter Irish pubs. Casual, clean, and brightly lit they are the perfect bait for tourists or the wayward traveler. Perhaps convenience is not a temptress but Tom Bodett inviting you to Motel 6 where “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

Before you get the wrong idea, it’s not that I find Connolly’s bad per say it’s just that I find it bland. The old real estate mantra is location, location, location and the brains behind the Connolly’s chain seem to have taken it to heart. If you work in midtown, there is a pretty good chance you are near one of their four establishments. Which is the exact reason you too could wind up here. You see, while it is not the kind of place you’d choose first, it is the sort of place everyone can agree on. A bar seemingly designed by committee for decisions made by committee. It doesn’t aspire to be good, but good enough.

So ask yourself: Do you really want to travel through these pedestrian pathways and only have TGIFridays or Connolly’s to show for it? Drink without fear my boozy battalion of bar goers. Go forth in innocent abandon past the lighted tourist traps and enter the dark musty crevasses of the uncommon. Go to Desmonds or Jimmy’s Corner and line up the whiskey on the rocks like the line for the Rockettes instead.

Connolly’s, 14 E. 47th St. (btw. 5th & Madison Ave.) (212) 867-3767
Connolly’s, 121 W. 45th St. (btw.. Sixth Ave. & Broadway) (212) 597-5126
Connolly’s, 43 W. 54th St. (btw. 5th & 6th Ave.) (212) 489-0271
150 E. 47th St. (btw. Lexington & 3rd Ave.) (212) 692-9342


  • why single out Connolly’s? It is pretty safe to say that all Irish pubs in NYC are pretty much the same.

  • The one on 47th btw 5th and Madison isn’t that bad. As for the others, I agree with your appraisal.

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    In the book The Pope of Greenwich Village, a character voices his belief that in Chinatown, there is one big subsurface kitchen supplying every restaurant. I’m beginning to suspect that every casserole of shepherd’s pie served in Midtown comes from the same place.

  • The Connelly’s on 47 between 5/Mad was 100 paces out the back door of 270 Park (JP Morgan Chase building). Many an afternoon you can still hear staff (particularly in IT) mumbling about an an important meeting they have to attend in “Conference Room C”

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