Synopses & Reviews
How did a bar like P. J. Clarkes saloon become the beloved watering hole for Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Rocky Marciano, and Buddy Holly (not to mention the fictional Don Draper)? And what was it about their bacon cheeseburger that caused Nat King Cole to pronounce it “the Cadillac of burgers”?
Established in 1884 and bought in l904 by Patrick “Paddy” Joseph Clarke, this Irish saloon in a beautiful Victorian building on the corner of Third Avenue and Fifty-Fifth Street has captivated generations of New Yorkers—from the working class to entertainers, athletes, business executives, and members of high society. Here, finally, is the story of this famed saloon. Learn more about the bar where:
- Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman announced their impending nuptials to an astonished crowd
- Johnny Mercer penned “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” on a napkin while sitting at the bar
- Frank Sinatra was the “owner” of table twenty
Over P. J. Clarkes Bar is at once a nostalgic look back at one of New York Citys most famous landmark saloons (in an age when they are quickly disappearing) and an eloquent memoir by the former owners grandniece, which details in sharp relief the excitement of days gone by—when as a young girl she entered through the “ladies” entrance and watched bartenders handing buckets of beer to thirsty customers on the sidewalk through the “to go” window.
"We walked into P. J. Clarke's, I said, 'Vinny, my usual.' And he lined up six double vodkas." --Richard Harris
About the Author
Helen Marie Clarke is a grandniece of Patrick Joseph Clarke, founder of the legendary Clarke's Bar in New York City. Her father and his brothers were brought up in an apartment beside Paddy Clarke's own apartment above the bar, and the saloon forms an intrinsic part of her family history. Clarke has a doctorate in humanities from the University of Texas and teaches writing and literature in Santa Fe, New Mexico.