Dublin House Celebrates 100 Years on the UWS, Surviving Prohibition, COVID-19 and Everything in Between

By Carol Tannenhauser

Dublin House, the Irish pub on West 79th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway will celebrate 100 years on the Upper West Side this weekend — a remarkable achievement made even more so by the fact that its most popular product was illegal when it opened. The pub, whose magnificent neon sign is being restored with the help of some donors, is having a three-day party starting on Friday (see the schedule below).

The bar opened shortly after the last major pandemic hit the United States, and just one year after Prohibition, the constitutional ban on alcohol in the United States, went into effect. Bars couldn’t serve alcohol from January, 1920 through December, 1933.

Banning alcohol didn’t curb America’s thirst for it, which is why Dublin House began as a speakeasy. According to the blog Lost New York City:

[A] man named Carway rented the space back in 1921 and operated it as a speakeasy. The first floor was the bar, the second floor the restaurant, the back of the third floor was the kitchen. There was a dumb waiter where the phone booth currently is. Carway bought the building in 1933 after Prohibition was repealed. At that time, he erected the neon harp sign. Perhaps he made the sign so big and bright as a sort of rebuke to The Noble Experiment.

The bar remained family-owned and operated for the next 85 years, with Carway’s nephew Chris Water taking over at some point. Mike Cormican, a Dublin House bartender (born in Ireland), bought it in 2006. He’s a small man with white hair. I saw him busying himself about the place when I was last there, saying hello to the regulars, who mostly spoke with Irish accents.

We spoke to Mike this week as he prepared for the celebration. “We survived the Covid. We’re back in business. They’ve been here for so many years,” he added, sounding more like a temporary steward of the bar than its owner. “It’s very good to see they’re still here. We definitely want to keep it going, definitely want to keep it going. That’s for sure.”

Dublin House will be celebrating its century of good cheer and great beer (they’re known for their Guinness) all weekend. Here’s the schedule.

And read WSR’s earlier story about the night Mrs. Maisel and Lenny Bruce had drinks at Dublin House!

HISTORY, NEWS | 15 comments | permalink
    1. Cr says:

      Here’s to another hundred years!
      The neon restoration from Let there be neon is spectacular.

    2. Doe says:

      My pub for over 40 years. Thanks to Mike, possibly the cleanest joint in Manhattan. Bartenders are top notch. Superstitiously, the place I go after doctor or vet visits. And my go-to to meet friends or introduce visiting friends or relatives to life in the big city.

    3. David says:

      Every time I turn the corner and see that sign, I breathe a sigh of relief that the jackals haven’t stripped all the meat from the carcass of overdeveloped NYC.

      Started drinking there when I was 16. I’m now 61.

      God Bless The Dublin House.

    4. Ish Kabibble says:

      Happy Birthday, Dublin House!!

    5. Paul Segal says:

      The Dublin House was for many years in the 1980s a “hiring hall” for my then office, Paul Segal Associates Architects. We got many wonderful hires, as “gofers” and andmin assistants from there.
      Congrats on 100!
      Paul Segal

    6. jeffrey cloidt says:

      Took my daughter and son-in-law Here a few years ago.
      I liked going there after work at my office on CPW.

    7. Mary Quiltrr...Brian's mum says:

      Sorry i will miss this celebrat>on but will see you on wednesday. Congratulations, Mike and to my favorite barkeeo, Tony.
      Never a visit to nyc without a stop at Dublin House.

    8. John E. says:

      Love the Dublin House! My favorite neighborhood dive bar!

      Great place to meet up with a blind date because if you get stood up, who’s going to notice??

    9. JFK says:

      As a coach in the West Side Little League for 7 years. My fellow coaches would meet on Thursday night and over a “few” pitchers. We would go over our lineup for that weekend’s game. One of our coaches decided to “self-sponsor” our team, but give the Dublin House credit. The back of our team jersey’s read. “Dublin House Dads, We Know Pitchers”.

    10. Nicholas M Archer says:

      The Irish don’t have an “accent.” They have a brogue.

    11. Kenneth J Mule says:

      The best guineas in the city!

    12. John Carway says:

      Do you know anything about the man called Carway in the article? I am wondering if he might have been a relative.

    13. Mark Moore says:

      Saw Dublin House on local Fox News about 12:18 last night (this morning).

    14. Shlomo says:

      Do they still take spreads ?