Browsing the Village Voice website and seeing a headline that promised that “This Bar Is the Best Place to Watch the Mets in New York City” I clicked, thinking I’d see a piece on some firefighter bar in Brooklyn or an Irish pub in Woodside. Nope! According to the Village Voice, McFadden’s at Citi Field is the best place to watch the Mets in New York City.
This perhaps needs a little backstory for non-New York sports fans. The bar they’re referring to is not some old time neighborhood baseball joint located next to the stadium like the Cask ‘n Flagon by Fenway Park or Stan’s by Yankee Stadium, but a bar inside the stadium itself built in 2009. So, apparently, the best thing for a Mets fan to do during an away game is leave the actual neighborhood they’re in and drive or take the train to an empty stadium, walk across the vast derelict parking lot, and then drink at the bar located inside.
To make things even more exciting, the Mets’ stadium sits in Willets Point, a no man’s land, surrounded by decrepit auto body shops in an area that has neither sidewalks or a sewer system (and thus floods). Look at the screencap below, Citi Field is enclosed by train tracks, highways, and on the right side of the screen, the aforementioned tire shops and scrap yards.
It’s hard to explain if you haven’t been there, but there are few places in New York City where you could stand and be farther from a deli, drugstore, an actual bar, or civilization than in the parking lot of Citi Field. If you don’t believe me, here’s a photo taken from Citi Field, giving you essentially the same view if you stepped outside of McFadden’s for a smoke.
And here’s a contrasting view from Willets Point, with Citi Field in the distance:
Looks like a lovely place for a pint and some nachos, eh? Now, imagine these same sights at midnight as you straggle across the expanse of a deserted parking lot towards the subway station, hearing the howl of junkyard dogs and the scuttling of swamp rats… YES OUT OF ALL THE PLACES IN NYC (A CITY OF OVER 8 MILLION PEOPLE) THAT IS EXACTLY WHERE I’D LIKE TO BE… AN AREA WITH A POPULATION OF ONE…
I’m not trying to put down auto body shops and the areas they’re in. I think it sucks the city is kicking them out and apparently welching on the deal. I just think that trying to turn an area that is remote and industrial into a hotspot in order for the Mets to bleed every last dollar they can out of their fans is a terrible idea. And if they do indeed build some bars and restaurants on the spot, God knows how much oil, antifreeze, and other chemicals have seeped into the ground for the last 70 years…
I’ve been to McFadden’s before Mets games and it sucks even then. It’s a cornball Epcot Center version of a NYC Irish bar, with 8 dollar beers and terrible food. Honestly, the only attraction I could imagine is OMG THE CHANCE TO BE ON TV.
The article in question lies below, with my annotations…
The site of the TBS Network’s Mets “fan cam” for the duration of the National League Championship Series, McFadden’s has in recent days become one of the most popular locations in New York City to watch the team as they chase their first championship title since 1986.
“I guess the best word to describe it would be magical,” Amani Mousa, the manager of McFadden’s, tells the Voice. “I mean, people were lining up. They would arrive early just so they could make sure that they were sitting on the side of the bar that was being taped. Everyone got so into it.”
YES, GETTING SUCKERS TO LINE UP TO DRINK IN A BAR NEXT TO CHOP SHOPS IS TRULY THE DEFINITION OF THE WORD “MAGICAL”
Though McFadden’s flagship location on 42nd Street has long existed as a near-inescapable midtown watering hole, for many New Yorkers this postseason has represented a coming-out party for the bar’s second location, at Citi Field. The saloon typically only operates when there’s a home game or special event at the stadium, but as the Mets traveled to the Windy City to challenge the Cubs, McFadden’s opened its doors so that diehard fans could root their team on from home.
“The McFadden’s location at Citi Field was chosen to showcase the excitement of the fan base during key moments of the game,” a TBS spokesperson told the Voice in an email. But as the Mets inched closer and closer to the pennant — and as second baseman Daniel Murphy set an MLB record with home runs in six consecutive postseason games — excitement turned to pandemonium and “key moments” became any excuse to show the crowd’s reaction at McFadden’s following a big play. In a city where Irish pubs can be found on nearly every street corner, you couldn’t ask for better publicity.
Better publicity for what? Anyone going to a Mets game is still going to drink there, it’s the only bar for literally miles in any direction… And anyone who is not going to a Mets game will never ever drink there…
“I think that it’s definitely assisted in people recognizing that we even exist,” Mousa says. The Mets recommended TBS use McFadden’s as the location for its fan cam, and the network first reached out to the bar before the division series earlier this month. “People all week long were coming in and saying that they were here to be a part of the experience because of what they saw on TV.”
Wait, so TBS called the Mets and asked where there was a good bar to put the fan cam, and the Mets said “The bar inside the stadium that we own!” and TBS went “Sounds good!”? And a journalist listened to someone tell him this, nodded his head, smiled and wrote it down?
At this point, I had to double check that this article wasn’t labeled as a “SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION” like those weird advertorials in the Travel section for seeing the wonders of Suriname… I realize at this point the Village Voice is a glorified supermarket circular advertising specials on Halloween costumes and dad blues bars, but c’mon…
Still, thanks to the bar’s prime location and strong relationship with the team, for six years McFadden’s has been a mainstay of Mets fandom at Citi Field, even if the bandwagon is only just catching on now. During the regular season, the bar hosts autograph signings and meet-and-greets with ex-players, and patrons are able to hear the cheers of 45,000 fans from the comfort of their barstools.
I mean, Jesus… “prime location”? It’s main attraction is that it’s the last place you can be in the building before they take your ticket and security pats you down…
“Pretty much every bar in New York City tried to capitalize on this conference series and the division series and put on their happy hour specials to draw in a crowd,” Mousa says. “But people already associate McFadden’s Citi Field with the Mets, and they know that we’re the place to be before, after, and during the game.”
Drinking at McFadden’s after midnight sounds like the initiation into some sinister secret society: “The Brotherhood of the Empty Parking Lot.” Do you chase your ceremonial shot with a glass of polio water from the standing pools 100 yards away?
Next Tuesday, when Fox broadcasts Game 1 of the World Series into millions of American homes, it remains to be seen whether McFadden’s will once again be chosen to serve as the Mets’ de facto clubhouse.
“We’re the true home to Mets fans — any other bar would be like a duplicate,” Mousa says. “No disrespect to them, but you really can’t compete with us.”
DEAD. A piece of shit fake Irish bar is calling out the copycats!
I had planned to go watch Game 6 at McFadden’s on Tuesday to see for myself what kind of freaks of nature would, as supposed grown adults, go out to the hinterlands and wait on line to drink 8 dollar Bud Lights, just for a chance to possibly be seeing waving your arms and screaming at the extremely small chance that the Mets won.
But, of course the Mets fucking tanked, so I was denied that oppurtunity. Wait til next year. Let’s go Mets!