Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Moylan Tavern

The City

F. Y. I.
Going Up?
Published: December 30, 2007

George Drank Here

Q. George Carlin used to star in a television show set in a Manhattan bar called the Moylan Tavern. Was it real?

A. Yes, though it was a memory.
The Moylan Tavern, on Broadway between La Salle Street and Tiemann Place in Morningside Heights, was torn down several decades ago. Its name was kept alive on “The George Carlin Show,” a sitcom that ran in 1994 and 1995 on Fox. Mr. Carlin played George O’Grady, a sarcastic Irish-American cabdriver who hung out there with other misfits.

Mr. Carlin, who grew up on West 121st Street, spent a lot of time in the real Moylan Tavern.
Maitland McDonagh, a granddaughter of the bar’s founders, remembers some things about the tavern’s past. Her grandparents Winifred Tierney McDonagh (1899-2004) of County Clare and Francis McDonagh of County Sligo came to the United States in the 1920s, married and later opened the tavern, naming it after Moylan Green, a park across the street.

“When my grandfather died in 1962, my grandmother decided she didn’t want to run a bar alone and sold it, I believe to a bartender who’d worked there for years,” Ms. McDonagh wrote in an e-mail message. It “limped on as a real old-man bar” until the 1970s and then closed, she added.

The General Grant Houses, a public project, replaced Moylan Green.

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