There are all sorts of literary types who are connected to the iconic Pete's Tavern. Legend has it that prolific writer O. Henry composed the short story “The Gift of the Magi” in the second booth from the front at this old haunt. Moreover, Ludwig Bemelmans is said to have written the rough draft for his first Madeline story on the back of a tavern menu.
Pete himself refers to Peter Belles who purchased the tavern in 1926. Although it is neither a designated New York City Landmark nor on the National Register of Historic Places, this pub is a New York City institution and a local treasure.
Pete’s Tavern initially opened in 1864 and claims to be the oldest original bar in New York City. It's the kind of place that feels as though it was built into the neighborhood. With its original 19th century bar, booths, tin ceiling, and floor tiles, it evokes nostalgia for the New York City of old.
During the holiday season Pete’s Tavern becomes a twinkling wonderland and strings of glowing red lights hang from the ceiling, ornaments and garlands are woven around the massive back bar mirror, and the front windows display a charming snow-covered village.
The delicious eggnog adds an extra incentive to visiting Pete’s Tavern during the holidays. The eggnog is served in the virgin, rum, or brandy variety, and each is delicious in its own right. All of the imbibing and merrymaking means it’s the perfect place to cozy up to the bar on a cold winter’s night. And that's why we end our new NYC Holiday Sites & Markets tour at this historic tavern. Grab a cup of their egg nog and have a sip of good cheer to the holiday season in NYC!!
129 E 18th St
New York, NY 10003