The tavern turns over

Gene McCarthy’s Tavern, the historic Irish pub on McCarthy Street in the Old First Ward, is changing hands just in time for the busy St. Patrick’s Day season. That is the late Gene McCarthy himself pictured at left. McCarthy, who passed on last June, semi-retired in 2006, passing the tavern over to Gerhardt Yaskow in an elaborate and well-attended ceremony.

Now Yaskow is selling the tavern, to Bill Metzger, the publisher of the Brewing News. Bill is buying the pub with three partners.

The closing is Monday, Gerhardt reports, so on Sunday they are having a party. It starts at 4 p.m., with free roast beef sliders and other amenities. The address, just so you know, is 73 Hamburg St. As the pub appears in the phone book: “McCarthy Gene Tavrn 73 Hamburg.”

Gerhardt’s six years have been a great era for the picturesque tavern. He bought it not knowing exactly what he was getting into, and you could say that he — and his sister Suzette — have not only owned it, they husbanded it. They have done a wonderful job of looking out for the beer necessities (sorry, I could not help that). Once when I went there early on in his tenure, Gerhardt had just returned from a bingo supply shop in Clinton Street, buying balls for a game of chance. The originals had been tossed somehow, and regulars were frantic.

He has issued a statement: “Bill and his new partners will be there to introduce themselves to you this Sunday night, as we remain committed to support their future endeavors at our historic neighborhood pub, and finally, to wish them well in their important work going forward.”

Surely Metzger’s purchase will usher in another rich era. There is no doubt that the ale will keep flowing.

Source: Mary Kunz Goldman,


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