Health Department Sweeps Cat Out Of Pub

 |  Apr 8th 2011  |   4 Contributions


Health Department bouncers have kicked Minnie the Cat out of an East Village pub. Photo byDanny McKiernan

'In the latest battle of what many New Yorkers see as the conflict between "old New York" and "new New York," a furry fixture has now been banned from a historic pub.

Cats have been a fixture at McSorley's Old Ale House in the East Village since it opened in 1854. But City Hall has issued an edict: No cats allowed!

Thus, Minnie the Second, the latest in a long line of felines that has graced the pub, has been barred for good.

The Department of Health came down hard on another McSorley's fixture, a chandelier bedecked with wishbones that were "hung by doughboys as wishful symbols of a safe return from the Great War. The bones left dangling came to represent those who never came back," says McSorley's owner, Matty Maher.

Blogger EV Grieve spoke with Minnie the cat via her Facebook page, and she explained her situation with typical feline tact: "[New York Times reporter Dan Barry] asked about my current status, and I explained that Mr. Maher has said I'm not allowed into the bar during drinking hours...officially. Since the only heat I want coming down is from the stove, that's the fact as it must be reported and as we must maintain."

Minnie made the news last year when Cheryl Sibley, a New Jersey resident, sued McSorley's, claiming that she "suffered a vicious attack at the hands of bar cat Minnie the Second which left her with 'serious injuries' requiring medical care," according to papers filed she filed at the Manhattan Supreme Court.

Or, as Minnie put it on her Facebook page, "I'm an adorable cat who's the target of a frivolous pawsuit."

In an "interview" with EV Grieve last December, the cat said she loves the bar and everything about it: "There is really no worst part about McSorley's, unless you count Bloomberg's thugs stomping around and picking on us."

[Sources: Gothamist, New York Times, EV Grieve]

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