Midtown Happy Hour: Gabby O’Hara’s Pub is Welcoming and Relaxed
If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every week, our Happy Hour Correspondent posts 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.
I’d like to tell you about my pleasant experience at Gabby O’Hara’s (39th btw 6th + 7th) since it doesn’t look like it’s been covered. That may be because “happy hour is all day every day” according to the bartender with $5 domestic drafts, $6 imports, $6 wines, and cocktails starting at $8… I know, I know, not shockingly good deals, but also not gonna break the bank compared to other Manhattan prices.
They have a draft selection you would expect in an Irish pub — some examples are Guiness, Harp, Yeungling, Bud, Killian’s Red, Sam Adams, Bass, and a few Brooklyn Brewery choices. According to the bartender, they accept all major credit cards and cash. They have Tuesday night karaoke at 7:30 so beware of that.
The (obviously) Irish pub looks more sophisticated on the inside than the somewhat cheesy exterior. Well, save for the placemats that doubled as pictures of scenic nature photographs from Ireland (nice touch). Unlike a lot of pubs, the atmosphere was brightly lit. There were several TVs, as one might predict. Most of the staff I assume were Irish by listening to their accents. The bartender was very friendly and attentive, offering me tastes of their draft beers when I was deciding what to order. We had some good banter.
I went on a Tuesday at 5:00 with a colleague, and it was fairly quiet in the restaurant but there were only a few seats left at the bar. I had a couple of pints of Bass, and it tasted fresh and the temperature was nice and cold. Everyone there seemed to be enjoying themselves. Eavesdropping on a few conversations, it sounded like they draw in a nice after work crowd of regulars. I also noticed, ladies, that the clientele at the time were almost entirely men on the relatively younger side, I guessed almost everyone there to be between 25 and 45. It looked like a mix of construction workers and office workers. Perhaps a chance to snag yourself a fella?
The menu consisted of reasonably priced but typical pub fare, with a handwritten page of daily special entrees ranging from $10 to $20. What stood out to me was their appetizers — they seemed to have decent prices on those with onion rings at $4.95 and mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, potato skins, and Buffalo wings all at $6.95. And, it’s almost *all I can do* not to order wings when I go to a bar that has them on the menu, so I gave in to my borderline addiction and got ‘em.
HERE GOES MY FIRST BUFFALO WING REVIEW (which I plan to include as often as possible when I review a bar because I love Buffalo wings with all of my heart):
The wings were a great value at $6.99 for 8-10 reasonably sized wings (I counted nine, not sure if that’s usual). I ordered extra hot sauce on the side as I always do, but they came naked with two sides of sauces, which was fair enough. They were well-done, which is better in my book than slimy and underdone. The sauce was a Louisiana-style cayenne sauce, viscous enough, not overpoweringly spicy. The carrots and celery were OK, but the blue cheese sauce tasted too tangy and almost certainly bottled. Overall, I think the wings pass the test.
My recommendation — if you like a place where the folks are friendly, the wings are yummy, and the beer is cold, try this place out. It’s a laid back joint where they’ll make you feel right at home, and the prices are more like my home base in Queens than Times Square.
The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- I like a friendly bar staff and I enjoy pleasant banter.
- The bar has a relaxed, unpretentious feel that I find comfortable.
- The bar passes the Buffalo wing test. I’d go back for more.
- If you like appetizers, they’re pretty cheap here.
- I like pubs with regulars where everybody knows your name, and this seems like that type of place.
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Even though the drink prices are reasonable all the time, they never have any “specials”.
- It’s just another Irish pub with typical pub food. What’s so original?
Gabby O’Hara’s Pub and Eatery, 123 West 39th Street, (212) 278-8984