Myers of Keswick has Irish stock to hold your conventional Irish meals cravings at a minimum.
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Let’s face it, the British and the Irish don’t agree on lots of whatever. Certainly, now not a religion, or politics, and greater lately, even membership in the EC. But there may be one thing the Brits and Irish have in not unusual—the identical meals.
Are you having trouble locating Colman’s Mustard Powder? How approximately a few Jacob’s Biscuits? HP Sauce? How about a few white or black pudding?
To many, an Irish exile in New York, these consolation foods of domestic—or the lack thereof—has handiest expanded their homesickness. But for the Irish in New York City, there may be a remedy in sight. And this relief comes within the form of Myers of Keswick, a shop filled with the packaged treats of home, now not to mention the satisfactory sausages in New York, the same sausages you’ll experience in several New York’s finest restaurants.
It all commenced with Malachy McCourt and the Bells of Hell
The keep in query is Myers of Keswick, placed on Hudson Street down in Greenwich Village. The man in fee is Peter Myers, from Keswick in the Lake District in northwest England, who has spent almost the closing 50 years working inside the Village, first inside the bars and for the last 31 years at his sausage keep.
The store opened, Myers proudly announces, on July four, 1985. Before that Myers changed into element-owner of the Bells of Hell saloon. The Bells, as it changed into recognized around the Village, became initially opened by Malachy McCourt on West Thirteenth Street inside the Village within the early Seventies. One of his barmen changed into a young immigrant from England, Peter Myers.
The Bells ultimately closed below McCourt’s stewardship and became reopened via Myers. It became the strolling mate of the legendary Lion’s Head writer’s bar down on Christopher Street as a steady movement of regulars from both places exceeded within the night on 7th Avenue perambulating among the two places. In its time the Bells changed into known for its song, proposing Turner & Kirwan: Larry Kirwan, destiny leader of the Black forty-seven Band, and Pierce Turner, visible right here performing “I’m a Freeborn Man of the Traveling People.”
Kirwan recollects the parade of celebrities who handed thru the Bells: “Norman Mailer came multiple instances to peer Turner & Kirwan of Wexford. Angela McCourt became additionally there quite regularly however that would have been in Malachy’s time.” He additionally recollects seeing all of the Clancy Brothers, Joey Ramone of the Ramones, famed composer David Amram, now not to say a destiny Pulitzer Prize-prevailing writer by way of the call of Frank McCourt.
Myers of Keswick hits Hudson Street
After he pulled out of the Bells of Hell, Myers went seeking out a brand new venue. Being that his father, and his grandfather before him, had been butchers, it becomes a herbal progression that Myers need to turn to the exchange he grew-up in.
A buddy told him of a shop that changed into for hire on Hudson Street among Jane and Horatio Streets. For years, it has been an Italian deli decorated with Provolone cheeses striking from the ceiling. They had specialized in hero sandwiches for the running guy and had ended up a staple in the community. Myers met with the former proprietor who now owned the constructing, and a small, energetic business was born. The store is right at the border of what’s now one of the freshest neighborhoods in New York, the fashionable Meatpacking District.
The shop appears much as it did in its Italian deli days—the refrigerators and counter show instances are the same—but the shelves are filled with merchandise from the alternative facet of the pond that the Irish and English cherish.
An exiled Irishman’s first impact? “My mom would have cherished this region!”
Myers estimates that he imports over three hundred merchandise from England. The cabinets are packed with the likes of Marmite, Sarson’s Malt Vinegar, Branson’s Pickle Chutney, Colman’s Mustards, HP sauce, Jacob’s Biscuits, an extensive form of teas, and more crisps—that’s potato chips for the uninitiated—products than you guessed existed.
His biggest seller? Would you consider Heinz Baked Beans? It’s proper. The beans are grown in the U.S. And Canada, shipped to England for processing, and return home to be offered at Myers of Keswick. Myers calls them “the most traveled beans on this planet.”
There are all varieties of chocolates (Myers says that Cadbury Flake is his bestseller) and the refrigerator is full of sodas that no American has ever heard of. His number one soda pop? IRN-BRU, a sarsaparilla tasting soda this is well-known as a hangover remedy and, consistent with Myers, outsells Coca-Cola in Scotland.