This is one of the great old bars of Ireland and has a gentle way of drawing you in, with the menu up in the window and a display of local pottery to arouse the curiosity. It’s a fine old-fashioned place, with everything gleaming and a great sense of the pride taken in its care.
Michael Gaughan opened the premises as a pub in November 1936 and his son, Edward, took over in 1972. Edward’s wife Mary is a great cook and, once they started doing food in 1983 they never looked back; everybody loves the way they run the place and Mary still does all the cooking.
Although they sold the pub licence a few years ago and now operate as a wine bar, Mary’s specialities have not changed and her good home cooking includes home-made quiche Lorraine with salad, lovely old-fashioned roasts - roast stuffed chicken with vegetables and potatoes, perhaps, or baked gammon.
Local seafood features, when available: smoked salmon is offered all year round, but fresh crab is only served from May to the end of August - such respect for seasonality is rare enough these days, and it is good to see it. There’s always a daily special and old favourites like lemon meringue pie and pineapple upside down pudding for dessert.
Lighter options on the menu include open smoked salmon or crab sandwich (in season), smoked salmon salad, and ploughman’s lunch - it’s all unpretentious, wholesome fare.
And, charmingly listed along with the Bewley’s tea and coffee, the wine and Irish coffee “Glass of spring water: Free.” Now that’s style.