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Hell’s Kitchen may have some of New York’s highest gas prices but it now has the cheapest beer, as local watering hole Scruffy Duffy’s offers a gallon of beer for the price of a gallon of gas!

Pat Hughes is selling a gallon of beer at $7.49 at his Scruffy Duffy’s bar in Hell’s Kitchen. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Bar owner Pat Hughes says the promotion is his humorous way of dealing with the significant rise in fuel pricing: “It’s a cheap publicity stunt to have fun amid the commotion and point out the skyrocketing gas prices,” he said, adding that recent inflation has reversed the price of his previously cheap wings. 

“What’s really skyrocketing is the price of wings. In the old days, we’d lure in customers with 10-cent wings — now, it’s gotta be the other way around because chicken is essentially the price of steak,” he said. “I just had to raise my wing entree to $15, which makes me feel like a thief! But I have no choice.” 

The high gas prices at the Mobil station at the corner of 11th Avenue and W51st Street will dictate the price of a gallon of beer at Scruffy Duffy’s. Photo: Phil O’Brien

If you’re looking to refuel your tank, be sure to bring along three thirsty friends (there is a four-person minimum on the sale) and ensure that you order some of Scruffy’s signature wings, as each participant must order at least one food item to participate — “We don’t want to knock people out here,” said Hughes. 

The steady increase of supply costs throughout the pandemic is impetus for the pricing change at his 10th Avenue bar. “Throughout COVID I’ve been spinning my wheels. Whatever money comes in from food I’d have to spend it right back out because prices are so high,” said Hughes, who recently took down his outdoor dining shed after a long pandemic tenure and a few unwelcome rats. Scruffy Duffy’s, like many area eateries, has been navigating the third year of the pandemic without support from the federal government, which failed to renew the Restaurant Replenishment Fund

The gallon of beer will be served up in a special gas can at Scruffy Duffy’s. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Despite the supply chain issues and rising costs, the price of beer has remained stable, said Hughes. “I ordered six kegs for this promotion at $59 a keg — which is close to what the price was 10 years ago.”

As for gas prices — which average $4.93/gallon statewide and frequently flirt with $7-8/gallon citywide — Hughes isn’t sweating them. “I do not worry about gas prices,” he said. “I commute from New Jersey and when I don’t have anything to carry, the $10 NJ transit bus works. It can’t be beat.” 

This isn’t the first publicity seeking stunt that Hughes has hatched up to promote his bars. During the pandemic, he offered to sell Scruffy Duffy’s and Hellcat Annie’s Taproom (the bar he owns next door on the corner of W45th Street) for bitcoins. Before the pandemic, he also ran “Wage Gap Wednesday” at Kiabacca (now called Scruffy Duffy’s) which gave women 21% off their midweek tab to recognize salary inequity.

Gas-priced beers on tap and by the gallon at Scruffy Duffy’s on 10th Avenue between W45/46th Street. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Hughes says he’ll play the promotion by ear as gas prices fluctuate — the price will change to match the highest price being charged at the Mobil gas station on 11th Avenue and W51st Street. A reason to believe in inflation?! 

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1 Comment

  1. Pat does it again! Brilliant marketing and it’s a matter of time before this gets picked up by a TV news outlet and shows that Hell’s Kitchen grit & sense of humor to the masses.

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