Wheeltapper has a Nice Patio, but The Food Is Too Damn Expensive

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.

Last year, after a rendezvous to Jimmy’s Corner, Luncher Cat Bus made a suggestion to try out The Wheeltapper Pub (44th btw. 3rd and Lex), a somewhat upscale Irish pub in the Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel. Dan tried out their dine-and-dash menu a few months ago, and it reminded me I should hit that shit up. It had been on my to do list for a while, and when I found out it had an outdoor patio, I thought including it on my adventures finding a great outdoor happy hour might be fun.

My crew all agreed that Wheeltapper isn’t that bad — no worse than most Midtown bars, but borderline douchey. Filled with travelers carrying rolling suitcases and suits guffawing at their coworkers’ bad jokes, it’s easy to make that assumption.

The decor seems classy enough. And the patio has a nice feel, but it was completely full when we got there, so come early!

The staff was attentive and the happy hour specials were not really specials. When we went, the bartender had $3.50 Bud drafts and $5.50 better drafts, like my choice Brooklyn Lager. (Although I called them a few days later to confirm, they said they didn’t have any Happy Hour specials. So maybe the bartender was just being friendly.)

Sadly, the food prices didn’t match the booze prices. The bar menu was very steep, with absolutely nothing under $10. The wings were $14. WHAT? I apologize, Lunchers. I’ll go over my limit to $11 or $12 at a push, but NO WAY am I going to order $14 wings unless I am desperate. Just desperate. Nobody at my table was going to budge on this, so I don’t have much in the way of food pictures.

I did manage to snag a pic of these ladies who were willing to pay for some $14 calamari, with one of the members of my group looking on in jealousy.

All in all, I give this a ML fail, simply because THE FOOD IS TOO DAMN HIGH, even on the bar menu. Sigh.

The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I’m still on my drinking outdoors kick until the humidity hits in, and I like their outdoor seating area.
  • I like Irish pubs but not the gritty ones. This slightly upscale atmosphere suits me.

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • There’s no way I’m eating here. I can’t afford it.
  • D-bags are coming out of the woodworks in this joint!
  • They might (might not) have a happy hour that’s more expensive than the regularly priced beers in my neighborhood.

The Wheeltapper in the Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel, 141 E. 44th St, (212) 351-6800


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