Some places you can just feel the history, flowing out of every table, bar stool, every corner booth or low hung light. It’s hard to put into words what you feel but you just know it’s there. You can’t describe it but you feel the history. Jack Miller’s Pub on Academy, you can immediately tell, is that kind of place.
Like many neighborhood spots, this one is a favorite from the locals and to be honest, doesn’t look like much on the outside. Once you step through that threshold, you know you’ve entered a place with a story. We met Butch Miller, the son of Jack Miller, who continues his father’s tradition through running this bar.
To the left is a photo wall that runs from the front door all the way to the back filled with autographed photos of athletes from every great era. Butch’s father bought the pub in 1970 because it was a spot he frequented, conveniently right next to his insurance business. In his earlier days Jack Miller played ball for the Cincinnati Reds Farm Team before going into insurance, then later into the pub business.
Jack Miller’s Pub was a hotspot mainly for boxers who are the main focal point of the photo wall. Butch said there were too many great memories and stories to even begin the recount them but he gave us a little glimpse. Chuck Wepner, yes the one who went 15 rounds with Muhammed Ali, used to come in all the time. Local fighters like Jerry Quarry who stopped in before his fight with Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden to do a shot, while wearing his fighting shorts. Jerry typically wore green but Frazier told him before the fight that he’s wearing green and that if he knew what was good for him he wouldn’t. Jerry wore red shorts. Grand Master Don Nagle, another legend, yes the one who taught Grand Master/’92 U.S. Olympic Taekwondo Coach Dong Keun Park whose studio is right at 35 Journal Square.
Butch was really great to meet, if you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy a nice drink, learn a little about the old days in Journal Square, we highly recommend Jack Miller’s Pub. Stop in, they’re open lunch and at night till about 2-3 am. Butch doesn’t serve food but is fine with people calling in a pizza, there’s also an outdoor seating area.
Jack Miller’s Pub