Step inside the Peter McManus Cafe, and a piece of New York Irish American history

Passed through four generations of owners, the Peter McManus Cafe is a family affair proud to be celebrating its Irish American heritage on St. Patrick’s Day.

Situated on the corner of 7th Avenue, the Chelsea bar’s exterior looks like it belongs to a much older New York City and you’ll realize why the moment you walk through the wooden doors.

Walking into the Irish pub is like entering your own living room. The interior is inviting with dim lighting and cozy plaid curtains. The bar, reminiscent of what you’d find at a long-standing pub in Ireland, is tucked away inside the building, secluded from the bustling pedestrians and traffic on the avenue.

A look at the bar at the Peter McManus CafePhoto by Lindsey Paul

The bar top extends all the way towards the back of the cafe with a wide selection of Irish whiskeys and beers. Most notably, Guinness is on draft which bartenders pour with care and precision.

Towards the back of the bar there are even two old phone booths, an incredibly rare sight in 21st century New York!  There is even a vintage cash register sat on the bar top that is almost as old as the bar itself.

Old fashioned telephone booths
Old fashioned telephone booths at the Peter McManus Cafe in ChelseaPhoto by Lindsey Paul

Justin McManus is the fourth generation of McManus’ to own the bar, and he carefully explained his method to the madness of an excellent pint of Guinness.

“45º angle, pull the tap handle towards you, fill it about 3/4 of the way right to the harp and just let it sit for 119 seconds,” he said. This mathematically perfect pour proves successful for McManus’ as almost every customer at the bar is nursing a stout in their hand.

Pouring Guinness beer into glass
Pouring the perfect Guinness at Peter McManus CafePhoto by Lindsey Paul
Justin McManus, owner of the Peter McManus CafePhoto by Lindsey Paul

The Peter McManus Cafe is a community center for local New Yorkers with several patrons coming in, calling bartenders by name, and shaking hands with their neighbors at the counter. The staff has been been at the cafe for decades, adding to the family-like dynamic.

With St. Patrick’s Day taking place this weekend, the bar is eager to open their doors to celebrate the festivities. Outside, the bar is decorated with green flags and signs welcoming people to celebrate the holiday at McManus’. New Yorkers can expect great conversation, environment, and traditional Irish American plates at the cafe this Sunday.

On the menu is their award winning burger as well as “the star of the show,” their corned beef plate. For all the vegetarians out there, fear not, Peter McManus’ has a vegan gardener’s pie ready so you can still get the taste of true Irish American cuisine.

The Peter McManus Cafe is excited to host an unforgettable and delicious celebration this St. Paddy’s Day! Step inside and you’ll see why McManus’ has become such a staple in the Irish pub culture of the city.