ABBEY TAVERN, Gramercy Park

by Kevin Walsh

THE Abbey Tavern, at 3rd Avenue and East 26th Street near Gramercy Park, is one of many Irish pubs in the general area, but it is named for a much, much older Abbey Tavern in Howth, Dublin, Ireland that has been in business for centuries, occupies some buildings dating from the 16th Century, and sits on the site of the 11th Century St Mary’s Abbey, founded by a Viking king of Ireland (who had been converted to Christianity by then).

Dublin’s Abbey Tavern has been renowned as a concert hall for decades, attracting the likes of The Dubliners, The Chieftans and Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers. The Abbey Tavern Traditional Irish night has been a mainstay in the venue for over six decades. None of the acts listed above ever dented the USA Billboard Hot 100 chart…but the Abbey Tavern’s in-house group, the Abbey Tavern singers, managed to do it with this song, recorded live at the tavern in 1966:

One of the few USA hits with someone playing the spoons.

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Edward P OBrien July 22, 2022 - 4:33 am

Irish First, Irish last, Irish Forever.

chris July 24, 2022 - 11:54 am

Always after me Lucky Charms!

Chester July 27, 2022 - 10:59 am

Manly yes, but I like it too!

P-j Greiner August 3, 2022 - 10:33 am

Although they most likely did not play at the Abbey Tavern, The Irish Rovers, formed in Canada, may be the “Irish” group with the highest charting hit in the US with the “The Unicorn Song”, released in 1967. It in the US, it reached #2 on the US Adult Contemporary Chart, and #7 on the Hot 100. Éire go Brách!


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