The Rise of Rosie O’Grady’s

The Rise of Rosie O’Grady’s in NYC

Wednesday, June 05, 2023 07:15 PM | NYC Exclusive Apartments

The Rise of Rosie O’Grady’s


In the bustling heart of Manhattan, just blocks from the pulsating energy of Times Square, lies an institution that has become a beloved symbol of Irish heritage in New York City. Rosie O’Grady’s, one of the city’s most renowned Irish pubs, has captivated the hearts of locals and tourists alike with its authentic Irish ambiance and delicious fare. But Rosie’s is more than just a pub; it’s a testament to the resilience and spirit of the Irish community in the Big Apple. The pub’s iconic status is not only a result of its long-standing presence but also its unwavering commitment to fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among its patrons​​.

History of Rosie O’Grady’s

Rosie O’Grady’s story began in 1976, when Mike Carty and his business partner, the late Austin Delaney, decided to bring a piece of Ireland to the heart of New York City. They opened the first Rosie O’Grady’s in the Wall Street area, marking the birth of what would soon become a cherished city landmark. In 1981, Rosie O’Grady’s shifted to its current location on Seventh Avenue, where it has remained an integral part of Manhattan’s vibrant nightlife and a symbol of Irish culture in the city for over four decades​.

The Role of the Carty Family

The success of Rosie O’Grady’s can largely be attributed to the relentless dedication of the Carty family. Mike Carty, the pub’s owner, immigrated from Co Leitrim, Ireland, to New York in the 1960s. Since then, his influence on the pub and the Irish community in New York has been profound. Not only did he establish a unique institution in the city’s dining and nightlife scene, but he also became a respected figure within the local community. In recognition of his contributions, Mike Carty was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award at the New York GAA’s first-ever Hall of Fame ceremony in Croke Park last year​​.

The Pub’s Atmosphere and Offerings

Upon stepping into Rosie O’Grady’s, patrons are instantly transported to a traditional Irish pub, complete with warm hospitality and a convivial atmosphere. But Rosie’s is more than just an authentic Irish pub; it’s a culinary destination renowned for its delectable steak and seafood dishes​​.

The pub’s strategic location near Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Central Park places it at the heart of Manhattan’s vibrant energy, making it a must-visit for both locals and tourists. The pub also hosts special events like New Year’s Eve Parties, offering guests an unforgettable experience right in the heart of Times Square​.

Rosie O’Grady’s commitment to providing an authentic and enjoyable dining experience is reflected in its warm and welcoming atmosphere. From the charming street view with outside seating​​ to the friendly service, every aspect of Rosie’s echoes the spirit of Irish hospitality.

For over 40 years, Rosie O’Grady’s has remained a symbol of Irish culture in New York City, captivating patrons with its inviting ambiance, delicious cuisine, and vibrant events. Its resilience and enduring charm stand as a testament to the strength and spirit of the Irish community in the city. Despite the challenges it has faced, Rosie O’Grady’s continues to embody the heart and soul of the Irish community in New York, making it a cherished institution in Manhattan’s dynamic dining and nightlife scene.

The Struggles and Closure of Rosie O’Grady’s

Challenges During the Pandemic
The Emerald Isle’s gem in the heart of New York, Rosie O’Grady’s, was not immune to the trials and tribulations of the global pandemic. Just as the world was forced to adapt and pivot, this legendary Irish pub found itself wrestling with unprecedented challenges.

As COVID-19 ravaged the city, Times Square, once a bustling hub of life, saw a sharp decline in foot traffic. This shift was devastating for establishments like Rosie O’Grady’s, which thrived on the area’s dynamic energy and constant flow of locals and tourists alike​​.

In 2020, the pub had to close its doors on and off, turning off its warm, welcoming lights for most of the year, and again from January 2021 to May 2021​2​. Each closure was like a skipped heartbeat in the life of Times Square, and the pub’s resilience was tested. The pandemic had upended the city’s restaurant and hospitality businesses, and Rosie O’Grady’s was not exempt from this struggle​.

Rent Disputes and Closure

The pandemic’s icy grip led to a chilling rental dispute with the building’s landlord, SL Green. With an annual rent rumored to be around $3.3 million, Rosie O’Grady’s found itself in a precarious position. The financial strain of the pandemic, coupled with periods of closure, led to a backlog of unpaid rent​.

Despite efforts to address this issue, the dispute resulted in a decision to close the iconic venue. It wasn’t an easy choice, but the situation left little room for alternatives. Michael Carty, president of the restaurant, shared that they had reached an agreement with SL Green to pay a percentage of its rent for the next few years and pay off the back rent over time. However, SL Green challenged this deal in arbitration court and won​.

Final Thoughts and the Future of Rosie O’Grady’s

When the curtain fell on Rosie O’Grady’s, the city felt a pang of loss. For over 40 years, this pub had been a beacon of Irish culture and camaraderie in the heart of Manhattan, and its closure marked the end of an era. But as the saying goes, “when one door closes, another opens.” Despite this setback, there’s a glimmer of hope that Rosie O’Grady’s may find a new home in the city​​.

The magic of Rosie O’Grady’s wasn’t just in its physical location, but in its spirit. The pub’s essence lies in the vibrant conversations over a pint, the shared laughter, the clinking of glasses, and the feeling of belonging. It’s in the stories told and retold, the friendships made, and the memories created.

The closure of Rosie O’Grady’s is indeed a significant event, but it’s also an opportunity for reinvention and rebirth. The pandemic has reminded us that change is the only constant, and Rosie O’Grady’s is poised to evolve with the times. While the future is uncertain, one thing remains clear: the spirit of Rosie O’Grady’s will endure, wherever it may find its next home.

Rosie O’Grady’s The famous Rosie O’Grady’s in Times Square, New York​.

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Sydney Harewood
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
New York City
We are LEVEL
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