A sister restaurant to three other successful Cork establishments Market Lane, Orso and Castle Café, Elbow Lane is housed in two floors of a handsome four-storey building off Oliver Plunkett Street. Uniquely, it is also home to a nano brewery producing a range of all-natural craft beers that was created by the team and brewer Russell Garrett specifically because they wanted beers that could be paired well with their food.
Elbow Lane Brewery predates the restaurant with their first beer, Angel Stout, coming onto the market in August 2012, followed by Elbow Lager, Wisdom Ale (which is a red ale), Jawbone (a pale ale) and Arrow (Weiss). The beers are mainly named after streets and alleyways of Cork city - Angel Lane, Elbow Lane, Wisdom Lane and Jawbone Alley - while Arrow reflects this building's history (an arrow was found on site and it is believed to have once been home to company called the Cork Arrow Company). Production is small and stockists are mainly limited to a select few places in Cork – their own restaurants the Castle Café, Market Lane Restaurant and Orso, and Bradley’s Supermarket and Off Licence.
The close connection between food and beer will not be lost on visitors as the small (25-seater) restaurant is on the ground floor, alongside the brewery, and recipes are designed to team up with particular beers. It's an atmospheric spot, with the smokehouse ambience adding to the fun, and an emphasis on seasonal and local foods in unusual smoked and grilled foods making for an interesting mix.
Although the focus is on matching food and beer, there is also a wine list of course - and they produce their own very popular dry rub and sauce, which can be purchased at the restaurant, or from Tom Durcan Meats at the English Market and Bradley’s Supermarket and Off Licence.