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New York might not be the oldest city in the world, but it has done a fair job of preserving many of its historic landmarks. While licenses themselves may change hands year by year, the buildings occupied by these businesses are often a hundred years old or even older, especially around Tribeca.
One of the oldest traditions in New York, and especially Lower Manhattan, is the Irish Pub. Mostly founded in the late 19th century by Irish refugees fleeing persecution and poverty brought on by the famine, many of these institutions have survived the long march of Time and have since become a critical feature of New York’s culture. One such pub is Reade Street Pub, a Tribeca Irish pub that recently shut down after many successful years of operation.
While the early history of the pub is sketchy, it appears that the earliest foundations of the building were recorded in 1867. Originally founded as a store, it appears that by 1895 the building had become a popular neighborhood pub. Originally known as “McGovern’s Bar and Restaurant,” the pub continued to pass through the owner’s family for nearly a century.
Then somewhere in the late 90’s the bar changed hands once again and became Reade Street Pub & Kitchen. Open for over two decades, Reade was a neighborhood staple that preserved the heritage of the building’s long history. Doling out food and volunteer labor during 9/11 and other crises in recent history, Reade Street was a beloved family bar that put community above profits. Sadly, after years of successful operation in Tribeca, Reade Street Pub was forced to close in May 2021 due to complications from the pandemic.
Thankfully, Chef Jude Sheehan has been cooking up plans to bring the beloved pub back to life – with a few updates and modernizations. As the owner of the catering service Jude’s Foods, Jude has been serving as the food service director at Grace Church for over 15 years. Using his many years of experience in food service, Jude plans on preserving the tradition and history of the pub while “bringing the place up to the 21st century,” and adding a fresh new dining menu.
With 3,700 square feet of space available, the pub is ripe with potential for a new vision. Reducing the late night closing hours from 4AM to 2AM, Jude wants to bring “a happier, quieter environment to Reade Street,” and is “excited to bring a rejuvenated version of the Reade Street Pub back to life.”