Walking through Irving Place a few weeks ago, I passed Pete’s Tavern, which is apparently the longest-operating bar and restaurant in New York City. Opened in 1864, it managed to stay open during Prohibition by disguising itself as a flower shop.
I like places like this, the worn-in booths and rosewood bar bearing the history of 144 years of serving people. Not many things last that long, and even fewer things manage to last that long without succumbing to changing trends or, um, modernization.
So there it was, a sign that had recession special written all over it. Available on Tuesday nights, a $13.95 ribeye steak dinner with “O’Brien Potatoes.” I’ll enjoy it with a frosty pint of their 1864 Original House Ale, tell my dining partner that this is the place O. Henry wrote “Gift of the Magi,” and dream of life in another era.
Pete’s Tavern, 129 E. 18th St at Irving Place. Visit their outdated but funny little website here.