By Jason Starr
Martin Cleary, one of the main characters in my new graphic novel THE CHILL, has lived a difficult life. He's an ex- Boston cop who has never been able to forget a traumatic event from his past in Ireland. His obsession has manifested as a nasty drinking habit, and when he comes to New York to investigate a couple of suspicious murders, the habit persists...
So here are the top six bars in Manhattan where Martin Cleary would get tanked.
1. McSorley's Old Ale House
In the THE CHILL, there is a scene at a bar called O'Reilley's. O'Reilley's is the name of the fictional bar where Tommy Russo from my novel FAKE I.D. works, but Mick Bertilorenzi drew O'Reilley's to look like McSorley's Old Ale House. Cleary would love drinking at McSorley's, but he'd probably pick fights with the tourists and wind up tossed by the bouncer.
2. The Playwright
On 35th Street, off Fifth Avenue. It's an OTB bar/restaurant so you can bet on horse races day and night, but Cleary would just go there to drink.
3. The Subway Inn
Okay, it's not Irish, but this classic Upper East Side dive bar scores points for seediness and Cleary would park himself at the bar and wind up drinking into the wee hours of the night.
4. The Molly Wee Pub
Speaking of wee, the Molly Wee Pub on Eighth Avenue is one of my favorite Irish bars in the city. A great place to grab a beer before or after a game at Madison Square Garden. Cleary would love it too, I'm sure, because of it's authenticity.
5. Kinsale Tavern
Upper East Side Irish bar with great burgers. An unreliable source (Ken Bruen) told me that Irish bars don't close when Irish people are there and still want to drink. I don't know if this is true or not, but Cleary would have to be asked to leave this place.
6. That Little Bar on Houston Street
Another one that's not Irish, but there's a narrow bar on Houston Street with a cool jukebox that stays open really late, especially when DC Comics people are partying and Brian Azzarello is in town. Cleary would like that place a lot.