Thursday Doors–Unexpected Pleasure

Molly Wee
The Molly Wee – This is one of two entrance doors. The other is usually propped open which is good for bars and churches.

One thing I’ve learned about blogging is that you can’t get too wrapped up in your plans. Plans change. Sometimes things get in the way of plans. Sometimes better things come along. You have to be flexible.

Last weekend, my daughter invited me to spend a day with her in New York. Monday was quickly switched from a same-old-same-old day at the office to a train ride, some shopping, some walking and a couple hours at one of my favorite watering holes, The Molly Wee Pub.

I discovered The Molly Wee in the mid-90s. I was attending a conference at the Javits Center and I wanted something better for lunch than fast food. I enjoyed the experience so much that I went back for dinner. I have been going there ever since. If I am in New York (and in control of the agenda) as much as one day, I will visit the Molly Wee.

The Molly Wee is small by restaurant standards but it’s a good sized pub. When the Rangers are playing hockey, or Ireland is playing soccer, it’s standing room only and you can’t hear yourself think. During more quiet times, the bartender will engage you in conversation and joke with you, but he/she won’t pressure you to buy another round, upsell you on brand/menu items or pressure you to hit the road after that last sip. I’ve left cash on the bar while using the restroom, and while I would never go so far as to recommend the practice, I’ve left my laptop bag and luggage at the bar while taking the same trip.

Early in this century, I asked the bartender if I could take some pictures inside the bar. I explained that we have always had Irish Setters and that one was named Reilly (the Reilly family owns the Molly Wee) and that one was named Mollie. He gave me permission and a free beer. I have gone back to the Molly Wee after not having been there in six or more months, and the bartender has said “what brings you down from Connecticut today?

Once when my daughter was in her teens and we were visiting New York, she said “I can’t wait until I’m old enough to go to the Molly Wee with you and have a beer.” I was pretty sure that day would never come. She’s been going to the pub with me for almost 10 years now. Several years ago, when she took my wife to New York for the day, she also took her to the Molly Wee. When she invited me to New York this time, I’m sure she knew that I needed a picture of the door.

My favorite Molly Wee experience was when my daughter Faith and I joined Brad Lewis there for lunch. Brad had fries with his meal. Faith had fries with her salad. I had Shepherd’s Pie which is served with two large piles of creamy whipped potatoes instead of the potato crust. I hadn’t touched one pile of potatoes when Brad started dipping his fries in it. Faith soon joined him and now, dipping fries in mashed potatoes is a thing.

The most memorable Molly Wee moment was when Faith and I were drinking and lost track of time (it’s a complicated story I will share at some point). Anyway, we tossed some money on the bar and ran the one block to Penn Station only to just barely miss our train. We sulked back to the Molly Wee and reclaimed our stools. The bartended took one look at us and set us up with two pints, on the house.

The main door was propped open, and the interior door is partially masked by a sign, but I think the pictures will give you an idea of what it’s like to visit.

Like every other Thursday, this post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors series. It’s fun and easy to join in.

67 thoughts on “Thursday Doors–Unexpected Pleasure

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  1. I hope you also remember the occasion when we had some fun in the Mollie Wee? Firstly, I argued that you shouldn’t tip a barman (we don’t in the UK unless we get a table service). We then had some fun listing the seven dwarves and the Magnificent Seven. I think I won that one. I had a Mollie Wee Polo shirt for years until I wore it out. A great talking point in Ipswich, UK (Not Ipswich MA!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Six months. The bartenders don’t usually last too long, but they do seem to remember people really well. The bartender on Monday was serving three guys next to us. they said they weren’t regulars but he remembered one because when he approached them, he had the beer the guy was about to order already in hand. Thanks for dropping by.


        1. I was amazed when that happened. It’s not every bartender but it’s been more than one. A lot of them just really work to get to know the customers. Sean, the bartender on Monday, talked a lot. I bet if I go back in August, he’d remember. I might test that :)

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah! The special places in our lives Dan. As I read your post it kind of reminded me of “Cheers” the TV series. Had that feel about it. I really do admire the relationship you have with your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Don. She’s a great kid and I like that we still share some interests and enjoy doing things together. The pub does have a Cheers feel to it. The bartenders (all that I’ve met) are very much a part of the experience and they help get the customers talking to each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is just early enough in the morning for a bar story. Somewhere it is very close to noon, though I don’t know that the Molly Wee is open to honor that event. Thanks for opening that door Dan. Now if we were sitting at the MW enjoying a pint I might say I bet we can miss the next train – and without any of that running stuff. So let’s just move on to the next pint.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the way you think John. It’s also the reason that I never like to be booked on the last AMTRAK train of the day. The other rail option is Metro North. they run all night long, but they aren’t near the Molly Wee (Grand Central vs Penn station) and they don’t come north in CT. I figure that if I’m going to be on the train an extra hour, I can have an extra beer.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a cool place! That’s my kind of bar, where one can feel relaxed and the bartender remembers you from six months ago. If I ever make it to NY (on my bucket list), I will certainly have to find the Molly Wee.


  5. Very cool post! I was just going to ask you for locale and got to the photo “on the corner of …” Hub and I typically do likewise when traveling – find a place we like and return several times during same trip or again on subsequent trips. But we’re both too introverted to strike up conversations that carry through multiple visits. We seem to move invisibly other than short bursts of engagement. Sometimes I wish we were different, but this is who we are.

    I love hearing about what you share with Faith as an adult that had its roots in her childhood. Just this week we got another bittersweet smack of the grandkids moving ever further out of reach into their own social circles and activities. We’re happy for them and bereft for us. I know, if it all works out, they will ‘return’ to us later in life but the intervening adolescent/teen separation years are certainly going to be a yin and yang of emotions for the two of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have grown bolder about striking up a conversation in a bar over the years, but the bartenders at the Molly Wee are great about encouraging patrons to talk among themselves. They will make a joke with the group next to you and include you in. I don’t understand all the nuances, but I almost always end up talking to others when I am there alone. Faith and I ended up talking with the guys in the group next to us this time too.

      Faith, decided early that she liked New York, despite having never been there. She has continued to enjoy periodic visits. If I didn’t know better, I’d guess you peeked in my drafts folder (I know better, so know you did) because I am working on a post about her fascination with that city for later this summer.

      I don’t know how long the fun will last, but I’m enjoying it for sure. Thanks Sammy – it’s always a pleasure to see your comments.


      1. NYC IS a fascinating city although I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting in several decades. Will enjoy that post when it scrolls my way!

        You might want to zip over to for a quick peek at Luanne’s old photo of a sailboat. You said you like reflections and the contours on this reflection are like none I’ve ever seen. On my IPad it is still but the sail edges are wavy. When I looked on my desktop, the reflection actually shimmers. So now I don’t know she altered it on one or both or it’s just one of ‘those signs’ but it’s definitely meant for you to enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Earlier with friends I used to hangout at Cafe Coffee Day (which is like an Indian Starbucks), Cafe Mondegar (a pub). With Sarah, I generally prefer Pizza Express and Cream Centre because she prefers restaurants over pubs.


  6. Loving the pics today, Dan. What a nice looking little place! The door is beautiful and the whole place seems to have a great atmosphere. I’m not surprised that you enjoy going back again and again. But I have to admit that when I saw the first pic, I got overly excited because I thought that awning was pink. I love pink. And I was all set to crack some kind of girly joke at your expense in my comment… before I saw the other pics and realized that the colour is actually some kind of red. Oh, well. I’ll get you next time!

    And thanks to Don’s above comment, I now have the Cheers theme stuck in my head. So thanks for that. “Sometimes you wanna go…” xP

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wendy, for the comment and for blaming Don and not me. That song is stuck in my head too. You could have told me it was pink cause that’s a color I struggle with :)

      It is a comfy bar.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, if I had a pub, it would probably be done in pink. :)

        I forgot to mention how much I like that light fixture under the “a hundred thousand welcomes” sign. But is it weird that as soon as I looked at the sign, I knew the font was ArnoldBoeD? O_o #ArtistProblems

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It reminded me of Cheers too! What a great pub, and bartender! To remember you after a 6 month hiatus is pretty neat. I can see why it’s on your list to return to when in town.

    Fries dipped in mashed potatoes…I’d try it!

    I really like the door. It’s very, very similar to the front door I recently bought. It was delivered Weds. and will be installed after the sheet-rock goes up…another week I think. I’ll post an image when it’s installed so you can see how alike they are. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the history.
    I’ve walked by there lots of times heading to work but for some reason it looks different in the photos. Hmm… Dunno why. Oh well, great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan, I could just see you and Faith at the Molly Wee Pub. What’s more, I could imagine where it is, almost, even without resorting to Google Maps. That’s because back in ’06 I went to the Javitz Centre with John – he was registering for the NY marathon. I should probably write a post about that one day. It was quite an experience. But more importantly, yesterday, we were at a country pub with our son and his partner. Our orders included fries and mash. I just had to try dipping my fries into the mash. It’s delicious, and yes, now it’s a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jill. It’s cool that you have been quite close to this pub. I love the Javits Center because I love lines. I have tins of pictures from inside there while waiting for some tech conference to open the doors to the show floor. Do write about the Marathon. Fires in mashed are pretty good, glad to see they are taking over the world :)


  10. Charming :)
    I especially like how the bartender was so personable, to remember you and treat you to a beer. We once took Moo to a place that bears her name, and she got a big pile of nothing, not even a smile or an “OH, Really?!?” I said to them, “You should at least have a lil sticker or something. This is very exciting for little girls who see their name in lights.” The clerk shrugged. Pfft.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You don’t just post a door photo, Dan, and take your compliments. I like this story of the Molly Wee, along with more about other times and special moments spent there, first with wife and later, with an all grown up daughter, Faith.
    Now, you “opened the door,” so to speak, to your other story of the Molly Wee. Titled, “When we missed the subway by just this much. . . “

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robin. I will share the story of missing that train at some point. I like Thursday Doors because it gives me an opportunity to share little things, things that maybe wouldn’t be a blog post worth of stuff without the door.

      Liked by 1 person

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