The Long Hall Podcast - America's Irish Voice


Can New York City Bars Survive The Winter?

Season 1, Ep. 14
With the iconic Mean Fiddler Irish bar on Times Square being the latest bar closure and others only allowed to operate at a mere 25% indoor capacity - we ask if New York City bar and restaurants can survive the cold winter months?We speak to co. Longford native Cormac McCormack, co-owner of the Pig n Whistle Irish Bar on 36th Street which was shut down in March due to the coronavirus lockdown.While Cormac re-opened in July, he is considering shutting down again for the winter because his bar – which is situated just two blocks from Madison Square Garden - has lost the vast majority of its customers with most events in the city canceled.A surge in crime and an uptick in drug-use on the streets has also discouraged some customers from coming into Manhattan.With foreign tourism non-existent and no guidance coming from city or state officials - the outlook appears bleak for city bar and restaurants.The Long Hall Pub & Grocery on East 34th Street has remained closed during the shutdown and Johnny, the co-owner gives us an update on the situation and provides some insight into negotiations with his landlord and the risks they face on re-opening.We also touch on the GAA scene here as Cormac was part of the New York senior football team's backroom staff this year before the game was canceled.Cormac is also running to raise money for Play Rugby USA this weekend – which puts on rugby programs for underprivileged kids. He chats to us about that and people can donate at PlayRugbyUSA.orgPlease rate and subscribe to the podcast, this will help build our audience and ensure we can get more podcasts to you more often.Cormac immigrated to the United States in 1993 and spent 10 years working in Montauk before moving into the city.