Family-Owned McAleer’s Pub to Close After 65 Years

McAleer’s Pub at 425 Amsterdam Avenue plans to close next month after 65 years on the Upper West Side, owner Keith McAleer said in a Facebook post.

The bar on Amsterdam between 80th and 81st streets was opened in 1953 by Keith’s father John and John’s cousin Frank, according to Eater. John and Frank were from Northern Ireland.

“It’s time to retire and change gears,” Keith said in the Facebook post, before thanking the staff and patrons. Several employees left their memories in the comments to Keith’s post.

I made some of the best friends of my life as a waitress and bartender there,” wrote Maria Del Russo.

So extremely sad to hear this news,” wrote Jessica Pienik Fitzpatrick. “It was a freezing cold December night in 2010 and a friend and I stopped in for a beer…who would have thought that I would meet my husband that night at the bar! And then move a block away a few years later with our 3 and 1 year old! Every time we walk past the Pub my husband and I kiss…thank you for hosting the best night of my life!

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 31 comments | permalink
    1. Liza Persky says:

      I’M SO SAD TO HEAR THIS!!! My husband Brian was a frequent patron when we met ten years ago. Our 2nd date was at McAleer’s. And pretty much every date after that for a year, and then some. True sad.

    2. Cyrus says:

      Sad news, indeed. McAleers was always a fun place to stop in for a quick beer and friendly service. They will be missed.

    3. Michael Danon says:

      After closing Copper Hatch ll many years ago l also had many a beer there. Always a delightful Pub. Sorry to hear closing, best of luck to all.

    4. Sam says:

      Thanks for the memories..

    5. Tom says:

      Has he considered selling it?

    6. TomNYC says:

      One of the few bars in the neighborhood that I still go to and really like. Too bad

    7. Cuws says:

      This is an absolute shame. Keith completely mis-ran the place with zero consideration for the staff, patrons and most importantly, the history. One of the last remaining neighborhood stalwarts, gone. Hope you’re happy, Keith.

      • Keith McAleer says:

        I’m sorry you feel that way. I still wish you the best.

        • dannyboy says:


          We all wish YOU the best!

          I know I miss being in a place where people come just to be together. To talk, joke or listen.

          My dear uncle, Joe Gavin came to this great city long ago as a CHAMPION prizefighter. He was welcome in the pubs and had stories to tell!

          A few years ago, I got to talking with an elderly gent (no, he didn’t know my Uncle) who bemoaned the loss of Irish pubs from the neighborhood. We shared a feeling.

          Not something you do alone (take a look at my Comment #8).

        • Cuws says:

          Perhaps if you’d paid as much attention to your website (and your clients) as you have to this site, you would not be putting people, including your family, out of work. Godspeed, Keith.

          • Keith McAleer says:

            Since when did we become a socialist republic? Is it not my perogative to sell my property and my business in order to retire? The jobs I provided were not guaranteed government jobs. As a matter of fact I’ve always encouraged my staff to use McAleer’s as a stepping stone and expand their horizons including family members.
            If you disagree with this very simple premise then there is nothing else to discuss. Have a nice day.

          • JMcA says:

            Sounds like you were, or should have been, flagged there many times. As they say – “there is always one”, and I think I just meet them!

          • Keith McAleer says:

            Well, you’ve now had your say. Let me now tell you something. Mind your own damn business. I have every right to sell my property and business in order to retire. Who do you think you are?
            Not to mention, you are a coward hiding behind the curtain of cuws.

            • JMcA says:

              Keith – you worked your ass off for many years, and in that time you had to deal with employees, patrons, drunks, and on occasions cowards like “Cuws”. YOU paid your dues to your family, and society. Now take time to smell the roses AND have a beer.

    8. dannyboy says:

      Jessica Pienik Fitzpatrick and Liza Persky have beautiful stories to share. My wife and I met at the West End all those many years ago.

    9. BillyNYC/80th Street says:

      It was great memories, thank you John and Keith.
      It was fun especially after baseball in Central Park.
      Yes, lot of memories the last 50 years for me…

    10. Jeremy Wine says:

      So sad. McAleers was where I had my first hand shandy.

    11. Paul says:

      I’m going to miss the Wednesday night trivia nights. Need to find the host a new location. Suggestions are welcome!

    12. chase says:


    13. Steven says:

      Sad. It seems like every place between 80th & 83rd on Amsterdam is closing. And that pizza place between 79th & 80th still has a sign on the window saying “temporarily closed due to gas leak.” It’s been over 2 years now.

    14. Mike D Nyc says:

      McAleers’ neighborhood was like the Wild West when I moved into the UWS in the early 1970s. But we went there regularly because it had a pool table and great cheap drinks. Show me a bar anywhere in the UWS that still has a pool table.
      Goodbye, McAleers, and thanks.

    15. Tru says:

      Whle I did not frequent this establishment and no longer live on the UPWS, I am sad to see the character of this unique and beloved neighborhood lose its welcoming, homey place.

    16. Juan says:

      I’m sorry to say that I don’t think I ever went to this bar but it always holds a special place in my heart because I heard it was the inspiration for the bar on How I Met Your Mother.

      • Keith McAleer says:

        Actually, I think that was McGee’s Pub. We are known for being the watering hole for the TV show NYPD Blue and featured on the show.

    17. Scott says:

      Had way too many “order two pitchers and get free wings” deals over the years. Sad to see it go.

    18. Margaret says:

      I wish Keith all the best for a long and fun retirement, though I’m so sorry to hear this neighborhood fixture is closing. McAleer’s will be missed.

      What will happen to the gorgeous neon Pub sign, I wonder? It’s one of my favorites.

    19. john says:

      They better not replace this with another overpriced bar that closes at midnight… cough E’s cough J.G. Melon.. cough anything “Pickles” .. cough cough..

    20. Jo Baldwin says:

      Mostly it’s the old Irish who knew how to run a proper pub. Sadly many of them are leaving (one way or another) and the kids just don’t have it in their blood.