A right proper Irish pub is a thing of beauty, and it comes from choosing traditions over trends—there’s a reason they’ve been around for about a millennium.
amed after the grandparents of co-owners and brothers Mark and Simon Gibson, Wilfie & Nell is a West Village Irish pub that’s doing it right. Firstly, this is a drinking establishment, but this bar prides themselves in not only serving good drinks, but also delicious, locally sourced food.
No stranger to Ireland themselves, Simon was born in Belfast, and Mark was born in Galway— each growing up in Dublin. The pair worked in bars and pubs around the country until they eventually got the chance to open up their first place in NYC around 2004. A few years later, their dream of owning an Irish pub to pay homage to their homeland would become a reality with Wilfie & Nell.
Opened in 2008 in a historic building with a long, storied past in the West Village’s creative community, the bar carries the neighborhood’s tradition of uniting artists, musicians, writers and everyday folks in a comfortable atmosphere. The no-frills space is cozy and rustic, with farmhouse vibes and communal tables akin to traditional pubs you’d find on the Emerald Isle.
It’s refreshing to see that Wilfie & Nell isn’t rife with cheesy Irish decor you’ll see in some pubs. Instead, vintage photos adorn the walls of the bar—family photos of Grandfather Wilfie as a doctor during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, where he ran a surgery out of his home that Grandmother Nell helped with.
The bar carries the neighborhood’s tradition of uniting artists, musicians, writers and everyday folks in a comfortable atmosphere.
But because no place survives alone on simply good atmosphere (other than perhaps an oxygen bar), the traditional Irish fare is just as good as the drinks, and it’s all backed by Momofuku veteran Joaquin Baca. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised to have tons of great options to choose from. Even better? The kitchen is open till 2 a.m. for all your late-night cravings (we recommend the Scotch egg… just do it).
In the wise words of Irish actor and musician Alex Levine, “Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat.” So you can get your complete nutritional needs all under one roof.
There’s a lot to do in New York, but there’s good reason you’ll frequently find us hiding out in the comfort of Wilfie & Nell, hopefully not dancing on any tables whilst singing Irish folk songs.