“Rat activity” was among the violations cited by the DOH that forced the 162-year-old tavern to shut its doors.
New York City’s oldest continuously operating bar, McSorley’s Old Ale House, has reportedly been ordered close due to health code violations, according to Fox 5 New York.
The saloon, which first opened its doors in 1854, hosted such patrons as Abraham Lincoln and John Lennon, according to its website, making it a tourist hotspot of the East Village. The historic bar was exclusively men-only until a 1970 Supreme Court case forced the establishment to admit female customers.
Health inspectors reportedly found violations in the bar’s food temperature storage and evidence of vermin and rat activity.
McSorley’s owner, Matthew Maher, who has run the establishment since 1964, blamed nearby construction for the influx of vermin. “There was a whole load of building equipment here, when the city opened up the pipes and all that, and they just took that away a couple of weeks ago, and that was a haven for rats,” the bar owner told DNAInfo New York. “Can you imagine New York City anywhere there isn’t a rat?”
The violation is not the first for the tavern, as it was ordered by the Department of Health to clear the dust from the wishbone chandelier that overhangs its bar in 2011, according to Eater New York.
The closure marks the first time the saloon has barred its doors in its 162-year history.