My bar search, sans smartphone
At roughly 5:00 PM yesterday, I received a text from an old college buddy I don't see nearly enough. We’d been talking about meeting up for months now, and finally we had a night where both our calendars collided. We agreed to meet near Penn Station and see where the night took us from there.
I met him at O’Reilly’s Pub on 31st and 6th, and this place was perfect: tons of TV’s, a rooftop, and a great pint of Guinness. Being that I work in the industry of helping restaurants attract new customers, I had to ask my friend Vince, “How did you decide on this place?” He said, “Pretty simple… I was on Yelp looking for Irish pubs because I know that’s what you like. I saw the name O’Reilly’s and it was the obvious choice since our dear friend Colin’s last name is O’Reilly.” Worked for me. Little did we know, we were starting a wild goose chase for our next pint of Guinness.
Starting our search smartphone-free
For the rest of the night, we agreed to put our phones away and let bars find us rather than searching online. We had no particular reason for doing this, other than to be fun and adventurous. This was definitely not the most effective way for finding a great experience. The criteria we used for deciding the right place was based on name and atmosphere alone. We figured this would be easy since there are roughly 1 zillion bars in NYC.
As we walked down 6th Avenue expecting to have a ton of options, we were sorely disappointed. Unfortunately, all we found were retail stores, nine Starbucks and a Fresh Market. Feeling let down, we cut over to 7th Avenue around 19th Street, hoping for better luck. We found a place that wasn’t exactly what we were looking for… but at that point, we were willing to settle for a cold Bud light anywhere. Most of the guys in there had sports jackets on, and being that it was 90 degrees… and the fact that I do not own a sports jacket, we were feeling out of place. Vince and I waited for about 5 minutes for the bartender to come over to take our order. He never came. Vince turned to me and said, “this is a buyer’s market... let’s keep looking for another place.”
Seventeen blocks later, we finally found our spot
Venturing back out, we kept walking down 7th Avenue. At the corner of 14th and 7th, we found a Guinness sign outside of a pub named Flannery’s Bar. Exactly what we were looking for, this place was perfect. We each ordered a pint of Guinness, and played darts for about an hour. After walking for 17 blocks (equivalent to about one mile), we had finally discovered a place that was the perfect fit for us.
Although we had a great time people watching our way down 6th and 7th Avenue looking for the right bar, I learned one important thing. The Internet makes life so much more convenient. Had I been using my iPhone like usual, I would have found tons of Irish pubs within two blocks of our original location. The Triple Crown is on 29th and 7th, Stout NYC and Blarney Rock are both on 33rd in-between 6th and 7th (just to name a few). You can find exactly what you are looking for, right nearby, online, even if it’s something super simple. Vince and I were only looking for a pub where we could sit on a barstool, watch the Yankee game, sip a Guinness, and tell stories from college. The internet is the easiest, most efficient way to find exactly what you want, exactly when you want it.