Catching Up with New Kids: Boss Tweed

From the folks who own Monk McGinn’s, the sports bar on Murray and West Broadway, comes Boss Tweed’s, a cozier, more lavish cocktail bar that also has an excellent pub menu with a chicken sandwich that is worth the trip.

There’s a Murray Street history here: Damien O’Brien came to the states in 1996, a product of the Rosie O’Grady’s empire here and on the other side of the Atlantic. After working at a bar in Union Square and a sports bar on Wall Street, he started his Murray Street residence by opening Biddy Early’s with a group of partners in 2003. With other partners, he opened Lily O’Brien’s across the street, on the south side of Murray next to the Tent & Trails building, in 2008.

It was at Biddy Early’s that he hired Marcella Toal, who is now his wife and business partner. (“At least I did one thing right,” Damien said.) (The couple has a 16-year-old daughter and live in Jersey.) And they never left the block.

Monk’s opened in 2018, and Lilly O’Brien’s was forced to close later that year when the T&T building on Park Place collapsed (sadly not much has changed there). But last year, after they managed to power Monk’s through the pandemic, he and Tadhg O’Callaghan took another spot down the block — the former Rosa Mexicano, which closed in 2019 — in a building owned by the Monk’s landlord, Barry Lipstiz, also the owner of Flashdancers.

“He’s a really great guy to work with as a landlord,” Damien said. “And I didn’t think it was a good idea to have a lot of closed stores on the street. People like to bounce around — they like the variety. We went away from covid and came out on the other side. I wanted to keep the street alive.”

Damien said they also wanted something different, quieter, but also rich and lush, so the walls are papered in magenta velvet with tropical murals and brass touches throughout. There are no TVs. The mezzanine area in the back is set up with leather couches. (Note my phone camera could not really make the most of the place.) We had four of us on the corner of the bar, which if you ask me is prime real estate.

“Monk’s is a sports bar, where you hang out in groups with all your friends,” Damien said. “Boss Tweed’s is quieter, where you go with your significant other.”

The names are supposed to reflect that relationship as well: Monk McGinn was a Tammany Hall character in the period drama “Gangs of New York,” which traced that Five Points era not far from here. In the movie, Monk, a member of the Dead Rabbits gang (more local bar references!) is the scrappy mobster politician who is elected sheriff, but killed by a rival shortly afterwards. Boss Tweed of course is not fictional, but in this scenario he’s higher up the food chain than Monk.

“The idea is to tie them together very softly,” said Damien. “A lot of the dinks in Monk’s and Tweed’s are named after characters in that movie.”

The menu is on iPads, which I will take over a QR code, and looks at first glance like classic pub fare but the chef — Mark Watchorn — gives everything a twist. The burger, on a soft brioche roll, has a salty peppercorn sauce melted into it which was just excellent, and two out of the four of us had the chicken sandwich and raved over the spicy slaw. There’s a $42 filet on the menu, but the sandwiches and salads are in the $20 price range sweet spot. We all had wine and beer (there’s Maine Beer Company bottles on hand) so you will have to head over yourself for the cocktails and report back.

Also NB: they have tricked out the party room downstairs with an elaborate bar and a wall-papered secret room that seats about 10. Fun.

41 Murray | West Broadway & Church
(585) 656-3468‬
Tuesday and Wednesday, 4p to midnight
Thursday – Saturday, 2p to midnight



  1. Damien and Marcella are two of the hardest working, most genuine people I have come across. Watching Damien working through the pandemic to build out his outdoor seating area and keep things going was both tragically sad and enormously uplifting at the same time. In a time when it seems like no one wants to work hard, this guy was all in, giving it his all. They’ve made Monk’s a place that welcomes families and pets, and you always get welcomed by name. That way we – all of us – should do our part to support them the same way they are supporting this neighborhood + all in.

  2. Both Monks and Tweads are fantastic! Food & drinks are all great. Damien and Marcella are always around and the staff is friendly and attentive. The neighborhood is lucky to have these places and people!