Eddie and Dervila Travers, who co-own The Porterhouse Brewing Co. at Fraunces Tavern, hail from a small hamlet in Ireland by the name of Ardcath, which means “the height of battle,” so it’s appropriate that they would run a bar in the same space where George Washington once celebrated his troops’ victory over the British more than 200 years ago.
Travers and his partners, who are based in Ireland, had been renovating the space for the past year and just held a grand opening celebration November 28 where they introduced Lower Manhattan guests to what Travers calls the best stout in the world.
“We’re going away from the run-of-the-mill Irish bar where you get Stella and Guinness,” he said. “We’re offering the best craft beer selection and all of what’s best with Irish and American cuisine.”
The Porterhouse features five beers imported from their eponymous brewing company in Dublin and a variety of selections from U.S. microbreweries, including Allagash White and Sixpoint Brownstone. The Porterhouse Oyster Stout is perhaps the first beer to be made with oysters, Travers said, but don’t worry about any fishy smells or tastes; the oysters make for an incredibly smooth finish.
The 9,000-square-foot space also includes a whiskey bar, sports bar, Fraunces Tavern restaurant and a chef’s dining room where small groups can enjoy a private dining experience with friends, family or colleagues. Two private rooms are a great place to host parties or functions.
The décor is a modern take on Colonial-era furnishings, with handmade wooden tables, distressed mirrors and dangling filament bulbs.
“People seem to love it,” Travers said. “Now we have booths and divides and a romantic, cozier setting.”
While scouting locations for their establishment, Travers’ partners were on the lookout for a prime space that had history and lore—a story of its own. Fraunces Tavern, which was one of the meeting places of the Sons of Liberty in the pre-Revolutionary War years and survived a cannonball through the roof, was the perfect, history-laden location to set up The Porterhouse.
Barring any future cannonballs, Travers hopes The Porterhouse will become Lower Manhattan’s newest institution and a place where many a victory is celebrated.
58 Pearl Street