Friday, March 17, 2023

Broadway Eats: Hurley's Saloon

Happy St. Patrick's Day! What better way to celebrate than to talk about an Irish Pub? For years, we'd planned on trying out Hurley's Saloon on 48th Street - not sure why we haven't before - and this winter we finally got around to it. We left Leopoldstadt hungry, and the place was literally a few steps away. Being that it is right in the heart of the Theater District and Times Square, we thought it might just be a tourist trap. Boy, were we wrong! The place was boisterous and a lot of fun. 

LOCATIONTheater District/Times Square: 232 West 48th Street
Phone: 212-765-8981
CLOSEST THEATERSLongacre, Walter Kerr, Eugene O'Neill, Ambassador,
Friedman, Lena Horne
HOURS11:30am - 3am, Monday - Saturday; 11:30am - 1am, Sunday
MEALS SERVEDIrish Pub Fare: Brunch, Lunch and Dinner; Theatre Pre-fixe Menu
BARFull bar - 3 Levels


(Click each to enlarge)

Being an Irish pub, the menu indulges that cuisine with such items as Irish Shepard's Pie and Bangers & Mash. Being a saloon, the menu includes all of the typical bar food type things - burgers, chicken sandwiches and a wide variety of appetizers, like mozzarella sticks, potato skins and baskets of onion rings or fries. And since this is the theater district, they even have a theater pre-fixe. What isn't typical of such an establishment - and what sets Hurley's apart from the rest - is the variety of other meals they serve, from Tuscan roast chicken to fish and chips, char-grilled steaks,  pasta and several traditional comfort foods. There's something for everyone here.


By Manhattan standards, this place is enormous: two very long bars with table and booth seating nearby, a spacious second floor dining room, and not one but two outdoor (seasonally heated) seating areas - the roof garden area and a curbside setup on the street. It is immediately both overwhelming and welcoming. I half expected the bar tenders and patrons to turn and shout, "Jeff!" as I entered! Even on a Sunday evening, it was pretty full, but we had no trouble finding two seats at one of the first floor bars. There were soccer games and football on the big screen tvs, and our time there was punctuated with loud cheers and the occasional taunt yelled after a bad play. With Playbills on the bar next to us, we were clearly not obvious sports fans, but that didn't stop the clientele near us from talking to us and asking where we were from, etc. The guy next to me was waiting for his date - Hurley's was apparently a halfway point between both of their residences. He was hilarious, and really into the football game. It was a nice feeling to be so welcomed by the neighborhood regulars.


Food-wise, Mike ordered exclusively from the appetizer menu: chicken tenders ($13) and a basket of fries ($9), while I ordered the fish and chips ($23). Truthfully, they were all pretty standard, nothing extra-special. But everything was served piping hot, and each item was high quality. The portions were large. Looking around, we could see delicious looking burgers and the onion rings looked good, too. We suspect that pretty much everything on the menu will satisfy hungry theatergoers.


Of course, you can't visit a saloon and not imbibe! As I said, we sat at the bar, and despite being very busy, our bartender, Matt (?) was friendly and very attentive... and very funny. It went something like this when we sat down:

Mike: How's your margarita?
Matt: It's awful. You'll love it!

It went on from there. And I'm happy to report that Mike's margaritas ($15) were, indeed, very good. For the record, my rum and coke ($15) was also quite good. And the service was excellent.

In closing, in a sign that Hurley's is a local hangout for Broadway fans and folk, we ran into, literally, cast members from none other than Sweeney Todd, including the very friendly, chatty Raymond J. Lee and Kristie Dale Sanders, and a sighting of a masked Josh Groban! They were all there celebrating their first rehearsals! 

We will definitely be back!

RATING: 🥄🥄🥄🥄 1/2 (out of 5)

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