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Mad Men Tavern Tour

Last week, TWM commenter, esquared suggested taking a Mad Men tour of Manhattan, via a page that Eater put up highlighting certain Mad Men bars and locations that happened within past episodes, here’s a link to their map. I like this idea, and it’s a timely one seeing that the series is coming back in a month, but if I went to every stop on their map, the post would be way too long. Plus, a lot of the places are closed now, so I picked out a half a dozen bars that are still in operation and that will be our Mad Men tour for the evening. Oh and I plan on getting a Mad Men drink at each stop and rate them with a Freddy Rumsen rating scale from one to four Freddy's.

If you don’t watch Mad Men (you really should, it’s one of the best shows on TV in my humble opinion,) Freddy Rumsen is a recurring character who is the highlight of one of my favorite Mad Men moments. Here it is, without being too much of a spoiler, let me just say it’s a pisser! Freddy's Last Meeting.

Okay, I've got the whole tour planned out on my expanded Kindle GPS, so it's off we go on our Mad Men Tavern Tour!

Stop Number One: Keen’s Steakhouse
72 W. 36th St. (Between 5th and 6th)
Mad Men Episode: “The Arrangements”

It's happy hour and it's crowded in here. I need to find a spot at the bar.

And look at this, a spot just opened up, I'm snagging the stool while I can!

And bartender Rob serves up the first drink of the evening. He told me that after the second season of Mad Men, the cast and crew had their wrap party in here and it was a lot of fun.

And I thought I'd dress up for the role and put on my suit and tie for the tour. Okay, I'm more Freddy Rumsen than Don Draper, but what are you going to do?

Mad Men Drink: A Manhattan
Freddy Rumsen Drink Rating: 4 Freddy’s, it was loaded with booze and expertly crafted!

Stop Number Two: Sardi’s
234 W. 44 St. (Near 8th St.)
Mad Men Episode: “The New Girl”

And here we are at the upstairs bar at Sardi's. I see a familiar face back there!

It's Joseph the bartender, who we met last year on MAD. Great to see him, as always!

In addition to the Martini, I bought the cheese and crackers plate. I sure miss the big communal cheese bowls that Bloomturd and the fucking Department of Health shut down. It's just not the same! Freddy Rumsen would not like this at all!

Mad Men Drink: Martini
Snack: Cheese and crackers
Freddy Rumsen Drink Rating:

4 Freddy’s, Joseph makes a mean martini!
Freddy Rumsen Snack Rating:

Half a Freddy, bring back the free communal cheese bowls!

A lot of people mistake this for the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. This is the Oyster Restaurant.

This is the Oyster Bar/Saloon. And it's...Stop Number Three: Grand Central Oyster Bar
Grand Central Station—42nd and Park Ave.
Mad Men Episode: “Red in the Face

Here's the main dining area in the Oyster Bar, a classic place complete with red-checkered table cloths.

I settled in at this end of the highly polished wooden bar.

And bartender Alex serves me up a vodka gimlet. Cheers!

Mad Men Drink: Vodka Gimlet
Freddy Rumsen Drink Rating: 3 Freddy’s, it was good, but not very strong. Freddy likes his bartenders to lean in while pouring.

Stop Number Four: P.J. Clarkes
915 Third Ave. (@55th St.)
Mad Men Episode: “The Hobo Code"

It's always packed in P.J. Clarke's!

I wiggled through the crowd though and got up to the bar...

And even managed to get a shot of Doug the bartender serving me a sidecar with a side of water. I got the sidecar in honor of the legendary P.J. Clarke's sister restaurant.

Mad Men Drink: Sidecar
Freddy Rumsen Drink Rating: 4 Freddy’s, it was strong and very tasty!

Stop Number Five: The Oak Room Bar
10 Central Park South (Near Fifth Ave.)
Mad Men Episode: “Red in the Face

I wondered why the light wasn't on in the sign and it's because it's closed. Shit, when did that happen? It seems like only yesterday I was enjoying a Mel Gibson in here!

Mad Men Drink: No drink at this stop.
Freddy Rumsen Drink Rating: 0 Freddy’s, a blackout!

Stop Number Six: Tha Dublin House
225 W. 79th St (Near Broadway)
Mad Men Episode: “My Old Kentucky Home

This is a classic Irish bar on the Upper West Side. I used to come here all the time when I lived up here.

And bartender Mike serves up the final drink of the tour while flashing the TMW card...whoops, Mike, you need to turn that card around!

Mad Men Drink: Tom Collins
Freddy Rumsen Drink Rating: 4 Freddy’s, Mike Mixed a great drink to end the tour!

And it seemed only fitting to end the tour with an obligatory bathroom mirror shot in honor of Freddy Rumsen! See you all tomorrow!

Further reading: Time Out New York, On Location Tours and Gridskipper.

Oh, when your heart's on fire,
You must realize,
Smoke gets in your eyes.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!

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Reader Comments (38)

Dublin House #152 of 365

I'm surprised bartender Mike, at the Dublin House, didn't give you a hard time !

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

i love mad men and this is a great post! a nice guide if i ever get to nyc! you did freddy and the boys proud!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D.

Nice Tour.
You must be making MAD money for that itinerary.
Although you do have a suit and tie, not to mention a fancy tablet device. (the iPaper?)

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

Damn, a suit and tie, you make a fella proud though I haven't put it in ages. Nice going ;)

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMykola Mick Dementiuk

@GENE: I know, I didn't think I'd be able to take pictures in there! He was in a better mood last night!

@Bobby D. Thanks, if you get to New York, let me know and I'll meet you for a Mad Men drink!

@csp: I wish I was making MAD money! Love the iPaper idea, I need to apply for a patent on that thing!

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: Thanks! I'm going to retire the suit and tie for a bit now!

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Marty when do you have to return the suit?

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

A great tour! I'm glad the Oak Room was closed -- they charge ya like $20 just for a napkin to blow your nose in. Not worth it! Dublin House is great - I always go there when I'm seeing a show at the Beacon. Love the back entrance to the Oyster Bar. I've only seen Season 1 of Mad Men. Looking forward to the rest!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

and every blogger crazy 'bout a sharped dressed man!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

This was pretty awesome. Just make sure you don't piss yourself in your office Marty.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReggie Thistleton

You clean up nice, kid! Great tour, but a sidecar? Blech!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Terry: The suit is returned to my closet, till the next wedding or funeral!

@Spike: I hear you about the prices at the Oak Room, but still a little sad it's closed, it was a classic place. Hopefully a 7-Eleven won't go in there! You really should check out Mad Men, it's a great show with tons of twists and turns. All the episodes can be streamed on Netflix now.

@Reggie Thistleton: Glad you enjoyed it and the last bathroom shot was to ensure no pants-pissing happened!

@Biff: Thanks! And I liked the Sidecar, it was better than I thought it would be!

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

"And I thought I'd dress up for the role and put on my suit and tie for the tour."
Looking dapper, there Marty!

"In addition to the Martini, I bought the cheese and crackers plate."
You had to buy the cheese and crackers? WTF???? When did this shit happen?

One time in Sardi’s: Bob Fosse is wired out of his mind on God only knows how many Dexedrine, lights his 17th cigarette of the hour, and starts talking about what a pain in the ass Eric Roberts and his ex wife Gwen are. It’s getting difficult to tell who he’s talking about at any given moment. I’m smiling and nodding my head, as if I can follow his ranting. Next to me there’s an elderly drunk woman who’s a regular and ex Show Girl; I think her name was Cynthia, she’s wearing way too much makeup and leopard coat, who’s also talking to me, she wants to show me a picture of Jesus she bought. In my left ear, Bob is telling me at 300mph me he wants to “nail” Mariel Hemingway. In my right ear the Cynthia says “Look at this beautiful picture of Jesus” and pulls one of those laser etched pictures out of her hand bag, In my left ear Bob’s telling me he may have to “cold cock” Eric Roberts or maybe he’s talking about his wife….or maybe he wants to nail and cold cock Mariel Hemingway …who the fuck knows? I have no idea what he’s talking about!. In my right ear the Cynthia is saying “Isn’t this a lovely picture?” and hands me the picture of Jesus. I look at it, nod my head and smile. In my left ear Bob says “Fuck ‘em all….you know what I’m saying to you? Fuck ‘em all, man!” I nod my head and smile, and tell both of them I’ll be right back. So I go outside walk over to Shubert Alley and light a joint, smoke it and go back inside Sardi’s, where Bob is looking at Cynthia’s picture. “That’s a nice picture, God bless you sweetheart” looks at me, gives me “the wink” and says “Martin isn’t this, a fine picture of Jesus?” and hands it to me, and tells Cynthia “Martins’ an artist you know?” “How do they get it to look so colorful?” asks Cynthia. I tell her “It is etched with a laser, that’s why it looks so sharp and vivid” while Bob orders another round. I’m pointing to Jesus’ eye and it suddenly dawns on me: that’s not Jesus, its Brent Mydland of the Grateful Dead for Christ’s sake!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Marty, I chuckled out loud when I saw you in that suit. I didn't know you had it in ya, but you look like a right gentleman. "You're hired."

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Davis

great story by martin! the icing on the cake to this great post!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D.

@Martin: Last year the DOH said the communal cheese bowls were a "health violation." It's pure bullshit! That fucking story is another classic! It jangled my nerves reading it and the ending was too funny! Thanks for sharing it, Martin!

@Bruce Davis: Thanks! You can't see it, but I even trimmed my nails for this tour!

@Bobby D: Agreed, I love Martin's stories!

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Wow. P.J. Clarke's. When I first moved to NYC in 1984, I worked nearby at 345 Park Ave, and on Fridays that was where we mailroom clerks and secretaries hung out. At the time I was working in the mailroom (one of two women and the only one with a college degree - boy did I take alot of shit) and my salary was quite modest, so the free food that they used to serve there during happy hour was my weekly salvation.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatrink

Marty in a suit - wow! ;)

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

@Katrink: Your story sounds like a scene out of Mad Men! I didn't know they served free food at happy hour, I'll have to check it to that!

@Goggla: Ha ha ha! A rare appearance indeed!

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

The cheese bowls were a "health violation”? Yeah that is total bullshit.

Ok maybe if you were sharing it with Linda Lovelace, but still…

I’m currently writing a book about my “adventures” with Bob

Another time in Sardi’s Bob and I were sitting at the bar with Anthony Perkins (Anthony and I were on Mescaline). Bob is wired on Black Beauties and drinking like he’s in a contest! When in walks comedian Buddy Hackett, Anthony waves to Buddy who walks over and says hello, I can’t stop giggling from the way Buddy said hello, Anthony has tears running down his face and Bob says to Buddy “I was a big fan of your work with Bud Abbot, Lou!” I nearly pissed myself!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Look at you in a SUIT, "Mr. HottyMcDress-UpDay"!

I feel as if I should have worn a Christina Hendricks get-up just to read this post :)
LOVE the Dublin House sign!!!! Squeee!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

You look so amazing in a suit!!! NICE!!!

Excellent locations!!! Mmmm Keen's is so fabulously wonderful. Never been to their bar, definitely need to next time I'm in. Love this post so much!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

@Martin: You can read about the death of the Sardi's cheese bowl here. That's too cool that you're writing a book about your Bob Fosse adventures! I'm loving the stories, I'll buy a copy for sure!

@roadsidewonders: Thanks! I haven't been called a "hotty" since I was sunburned a few decades ago! And I hear you about the Dublin sign, an iconic sign on the Upper West Side.

@Lindsay: Thank you so much! Keen's is a classic place, you should really check out the bar, a cool old school joint for sure. And if you've never had the prime rib hash, you should definitely try it, I think they only serve it in the bar.

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty


Nail and cold cock my granddaughter?

I’ll kick all your asses from here to eternity Pamplona!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErnest Hemingway

I think that was one of your most entertaining posts! Ever! You really went through a lot of work (and probably $), but it looks like it was a great night. I agree with the other commenters, seeing you in a suit was a trip!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermattyanza

@Ernest Hemingway: Sorry, Papa!

@mattyanza: Thanks! It was a lot of traveling around in one night but it was fun to do! The suit was a last minute thought, I'm glad I did it now!

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Wow Marty you clean up so nice..

@Martin I list Tony Perkins as one of my fave actors of all time.I'd love to hear your stories about him some day.. I am already truly in awe of the Fosse stories.

This was a great tour
I so hate tv fifty percent of the time but this made me want to watch Madmen.
but i have enough trouble scheduling the three i do watch regularly. Thank god some of it I can watch on the computer when working on my blog.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

oh yeah.. Rob is a good looking bartender and reminds me a bit of Miles from the wonderstuff.. but all cleaned up...

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Gidget: Thanks! You can stream Mad Men on Netflix, they have the first four seasons up. You should check it out, I really think you'd like it. It really takes some wild twists and turns and the writing is almost as good as Martin's stories! Oh, and speaking of Rob, he's an actor, so maybe we'll see him on an upcoming episode!

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Martin, you have to take me to Sardi's some time. Sounds like rarely a dull moment when you stop in.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBabyDave

@BabyDave: Will do! Next time I go, I'll send you an email!

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Marty, really good post. At least you didn't order a Sloe Gin Fizz or a Sidecar (which incidentally I heard is an unappealing drink which is a bother to make). I would have opted for a Harvey Wallbanger myself. Actually I wouldn't, just like the way it sounds.

You needed a fedora to complete your look. Then again, I like what P.J. O'Rourke said about hats: "Hats should be removed when a lady enters the room - and then never be put back on again. Nothing looks as stupid as a man in a hat."

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveW

@DaveW: Thanks! That P.J. O'Rourke quote is great! I've never been a wearer of hats myself!

February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

There's two solutions to the Sardi's travesty. (Mgt. if your reading feel free to implement) First, they apparently got some sort of special dispensation from the Dept. of Health so that the winners of that stupid dog show can eat a meal there without being in violation, why don't they get that for the cheese crocks, I call that the letter of the law solution, second, they should offer a 2 free drinks with the purchase of a large cheese crock IF you're willing to share the crock with everyone at the bar and "give" it to someone else who's at the bar after you leave. I call that the spirit of the law solution. Or if they don't want to give away booze (understandable) charge like two bucks for the large cheese crock, same sharing it w/ the bar rule.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

I found you Marty!

Wow I just adore your new site Tripping with Marty, how incredibly fun and brilliant!

The Mad Men Bar Tour is out of this world cool. Thank you so very much for sharing it with us and letting us tag along.

By the way they have a PJ Clarke's in Las vegas too.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

@randall: I love your solutions, I hope management reads them! Thanks for sending them in!

@Tiki Bar Susie: Holy fucking moley! Great to hear from you and so glad you like the blog! I didn't know there was a P.J. Clarke's in Vegas, if I ever get out there again, I will definitely check it out!

February 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Hey Daddio, this was a great idea for the 'Trip'.
Thanks for bringing out the 'Inner Draper' in all of us.
You'd better watch those bar tabs on a fixed income!

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

woo woo..fun times. Love the cheese pot.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

@"Boris:" I have to thank equared for the idea, but it was fun to pull off! And yes, the bar tabs put a little bump in my budget, but it was worth it!

@Melanie: Fun times indeed! To Mad Men!

February 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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