Curran’s charming shop-like front points at its ongoing role as a general merchant
Half shop, Half pub, Full of character
In Dingle, Co. Kerry, you are truly blessed with a variety of cherished pubs, not to mention the breathtaking beauty of the Dingle Peninsula itself and its Atlantic coastline. Among them though, one establishment summarises the history of the Irish Pub like no other – J. Curran’s Shop Bar sitting atop the steep Main Street. On passing through the unassuming, shop-like front, you are presented with a bright n’airy room, Continue reading
Outside O’Donoghue’s familiar black & white exterior
O’Donoghue’s, Our Old Friend
O’Donoghue’s is our go-to pub. There, I said it, there’s no mystery to it. Rail, hail or shine, no matter what the occasion, O’Donoghue’s can cover it. It’s not the prettiest, the most comfortable nor the most steeped-in-history of Ireland’s pubs but by god, it is one damn fine boozer. If you’re looking simply to pop in somewhere for a drink over the newspaper or while catching the match on T.V., O’Donoghue’s is ideal. If you’re peckish, the guys there will whip up a toasted sandwich for you. If you’re after a proper, full-on night out among a lively, mixed crowd, O’Donoghue’s guarantees it, with a bustling, varied clientele heaving all the way from the old bar on one side, through the beer garden across to the newer part of the bar. Continue reading
Toners Pub is a perennial fixture of the busy Lower Baggot Street social scene
200 Year Old Formula
A few plain facts point to the wonder of Toners pub of Baggot Street, Dublin 2. The pub is almost two hundred years in operation and yet it remains largely unaltered, working off the same successful formula it always has. Bearing in mind that it is within a stone’s throw of other truly great pubs, not least Doheny & Nesbitt and O’Donoghues, its longevity and simultaneous resistance to change are all the more impressive. Granted there have been a few additions over the years such as a beer garden out back and an upstairs function room, to cater for the larger, occasional crowds but the kernel of the pub is essentially unchanged, with a single television parked high in the corner, the only hint at modernity. Continue reading
The view from the back lounge across into the main, front bar. Brennan’s offers an oasis of calm on the busy main street of bustling Bundoran. (Photo by Angelika Appelqvist)
Born on St. Patrick’s
With St. Patrick’s Day just passed once again, it calls to mind our visit to the charming Brennan’s (aka. ‘The Criterion’) pub in the coastal town of Bundoran, Co. Donegal. Brennan’s opened in 1900 on St. Patrick’s Day and has been delighting patrons ever since. Few pubs that we have visited on our travels, have left such an indelible impression as Brennan’s. It is a place entirely locked in time, unspoilt and genuinely offering a glimpse of a bygone era. One of the common traits of these fine, old pubs is their capacity to steadfastly remain authentic and unaltered in the face of a rapidly, changing world right outside their doorsteps. Nowhere in Ireland is this resilence more pronounced than in lovely Brennan’s, sitting discretely on the main street in brash, tourist-focused Bundoran. What lies beyond its understated frontage is a pub of delightful character, offering tranquility, charm and homeliness. Continue reading
A few regulars rightfully had prime seating at the front bar, keeping an eye on the racing on T.V. The Guinness Toucan lamp threw off a warm glow to help the lads read the betting odds from their papers.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett
I probably shouldn’t quote Beckett today, what with being deep in Yeat’s country but alas, these words seem apt. The ‘R.E. Public House’ blog has struggled to get off the ground since its original inception and yet myself & Angelika are certain that it will come to pass. 2013 presents a new dawn on many fronts and equally hope is in the air regarding our ongoing, joyous pub-hunting. While it has been quiet in words this past while, trust us; it has not been quiet in deed, so we have plenty of pub tales to share with you, starting from where we are at today, happy and relaxed in groovy Sligo Town on this the 9th day of February, 2013. Continue reading
Eugene’s Pub was a real gem.
Once in the Clare area, we thought why not see some of the other villages? One of the villages we decided to visit was Ennistymon; a quiet, small place and like so many villages in Ireland, it basically consists of a single main street.
Here we found Eugene’s, a pub with windows of leaded glass painted like those of a church. Damien explained to me that a sign outside of “Father Ted”, was of the main character of a T.V. show that was very popular in Ireland and even more so in the West. This was the second pub we had seen on our short westerly trip that had a reference to this show (the other one being Kennys in Lahinch). The rain encouraged us to go inside this cosy looking pub for an evening drink. Continue reading
Kenny’s window was adorned with a festive guitar-playin’ Father Ted & Co.
Lahinch village, County Clare, has just about enough main stretches of street to form a single large ‘J’-shape, so in saying we comprehensively explored the place for the cream of its public house crop, we may be overstating our efforts.
However, to the extent that we could be thorough about our jovial pursuit, we did sample all the available options at hand over the course of the whole weekend. Equally, as you’ll know, even the tiniest of Irish villages has such numbers of pubs to make a pub-crawl feel more like a game of door-to-door hopscotch. Continue reading