Party Lifestyle

McSorley’s Ale House

Written by The Stallion

This article first appeared in the Mar/Apr 2013 issue of World Gaming magazine.

McSorley’s Ale House
+853 2882 8198
Everyday 12:00 to 01:00

When the
WGM gang is trying to track down The Stallion at the Venetian Macau, their first port of call is usually McSorley’s. The Stallion loves to sit behind a cold beer having a chat with some friends.

The one indisputable thing you can say about the Venetian Macau is that it is big! You can get pretty thirsty walking around what is described as the equivalent of 56 football fields. The Venetian prides itself on always having something new to see, so I always have a reason to trot down there. The Irish Bar in Taipa is more my kind of Irish drinking hole, but for a stereotypical Irish-bar-not-in-Ireland, McSorley’s does a pretty good job.

For some reason whenever I arrange to meet someone at the Venetian, I tend to favor McSorley’s. This might have something to do with my penchant for a cold beer on a hot day. The other reason is that McSorley’s is a central port-of-call at the Venetian, “… right in the center of the action!” as they put it. It’s close to the gaming floor, the Cotai Arena and the Grand Canal Shoppes.

I would hate to think how much money was spent setting up McSorley’s. It has that old school European sitting room feel to it, with dark mahogany and a Victorian finish. Polished brass and brown leather are prominent throughout the design. This is the third pub in the McSorley’s chain, the other two being successful outlets in Hong Kong’s Soho and Discovery Bay.

McSorely’s pride themselves on their beer. They have their very own imported McSorley’s Ale that is strongly hopped and malted, and is admittedly a pretty good drop. They also have Guinness on tap, a pre-requisite for any Irish bar, and the Carlsberg is always icy cold. They have an extensive range of bottled beers for those looking for something a little different. If a bar like this didn’t have a great selection of beers you would be very disappointed. They also have a good selection of wine and spirits including some nice whiskies for those looking for something a little more medicinal.

McSorley’s also pride themselves on their bar menu. It consists mainly of traditional western fair – British deepdish pies, fish and chips and American style hamburgers are all staples. It’s not really the sort of food The Panda gets into, but it does me just fine while having a few drinks.

Live sport coverage is also something McSorley’s takes very seriously. Football and rugby are screened here and my American friends tell me you can catch a game of American football. Rumor has it they have a great Super Bowl party each year … but you have to get in early to get a good seat.

The service is always pretty good. One night after a conference I was there with some friends, and we had the most amazing waiter ever! He was able to hold a 30-second turnaround time whenever we asked for a drink, no matter how obscure our order. We were all genuinely amazed by his abilities, particularly as the bar was pretty busy. It isn’t always as good as this, but the young man that night certainly earned his generous tip.

You essentially get what you expect at McSorley’s. Compared to haunts with a single local charismatic owner like the Irish Bar, The Roadhouse or the Sports Bar this place feels a little “corporate”. You have to keep in mind though that McSorley’s caters to a wider range of clientele, and many of them are tourists whose expectations are different to the Macanese or local expats.

McSorley’s is a very convenient meeting place, the service is excellent, the beer flows freely and there is always some sport to watch on the many screens. In these respects they have managed to tick most of the boxes. For someone who is always searching for a beverage and good conversation, McSorley’s has often been my oasis away from the busy floor of what is arguably the world’s busiest casino.