The New York Times

In Hard Times, Just Plain Bars Are Timeless

“Most patrons of Carnegie Hall have probably walked past P.J. Carney’s many times without ever noticing it. Little did they know that a social symphony of great color and texture holds forth there nightly. The small oval room with a U-shaped bar and scattering of tables and booths attracts a remarkable cross section of New Yorkers: businessmen, artists, students, musicians, itinerants, even some turnaways from the nearby Planet Hollywood restaurant. Carney’s may not have the hood of the Batmobile on the wall, but it certainly has a better shepherd’s pie (made with beef, not lamb) as well as a good hamburger and fish and chips. When owner Mr. Crawford is asked if he would ever change anything in the bar, he doesn’t even pause to think it over. ‘Not a chance,’ he replies. ‘People feel as if this is their home, and don’t want people changing things around in their living room.’ Among others who stop by P.J. Carney’s for the ambiance and Irish ales are the neighborhood resident Buster Poindexter and the musicians Cy Coleman and Joe Jackson.”

— Bryan Miller, The New York Times