Once a familiar staple of New York’s urban landscape, many traditional Irish bars are now struggling to keep their doors open. With high rents and stiff competition from trendy cocktail lounges many of these blue collar hangouts are slowly disappearing. For others its been a wake-up call to reinvent themselves.
The bar and cocktail industry as a whole has undergone a transformation over the past several years. From elaborate cocktails to new computer systems, old school bartenders at McSorley’s and the Copper Still are learning what it takes to stay competitive. And not only are young people flocking for the latest craft beers, there’s been an explosive demand for whiskey and bourbon.
Old neighborhoods and consumer spending has changed in recent years. Before the 2008 recession, New York’s East Village, was a ‘punkier and edgier’ place where you would find $3 beers and budget shots. Now Google and other tech companies have made these old neighborhoods their home, and customers are more interested in value and less interested in low prices.
With the rise of foodies and high-end desires, many of these long-established existing businesses have had to reinvent themselves in order to survive. By learning to put a new spin on their old formula many of them are now thriving.
“With rents up and tastes changing, New York’s Irish bars are trying to modernize without compromising on the decades-old formula of cheap beer and good times. It’s before noon on Sunday and more than a half dozen men are seated at the downstairs bar…”