This famous and much-loved traditional grocery-bar in the centre of Sligo Town, is a listed building dating back to 1864 – and, having previously had only two owners (the original builder, and then the Hargadon family who gave it the current name), it was acquired in 2006 by Ray and Eileen Monahan as part of the development of the adjoining Johnston Court Shopping Mall, which now also incorporates Source Sligo and (in the centre itself) Café Souperb.
The Monahans undertook a lengthy and sensitive restoration of Hargadons with great success, so there it is now in all its glory, restored and renovated but with all its snugs and fires and grocery shelves intact (and the marble counter cleaned and back in place) – and still offering the same warm welcome.
And not only is it a superb traditional pub, but there’s also an excellent food operation, which is managed by Joe Grogan and Miriam Harte. Home cooked food is the appropriate aim in this atmospheric setting and there is a commitment to quality produce – especially the very best from the immediate locality.
Organic foods are used for preference, everything is sourced locally (including salads and vegetables which are home grown at the Monahans’ own facility nearby) and Hargadons takes pride in crediting its suppliers on the menu.
The emphasis is on hearty traditional food, especially at lunchtime, but a cosmopolitan twist may also be expected – and evening menus offer treats like Lissadell oysters and local mussels. And not only can you enjoy the owners’ own wines, Les Lys and Terra Monti from the Languedoc region of the South of France, but also their own olive oil. (Also available from Hargadon Bros wine shops in Sligo and Dublin).
At lunchtime you can choose from a 3-course special which offers exceptional value for under a tenner (a freshly made soup; a salad or salmon paté with sourdough bread, perhaps – and a delicious dessert), a short à la carte (includes quiches, salads, open sandwiches with interesting fillings) and lunchtime specials that include warming casseroles, fresh fish and gorgeous desserts (try the best brownie ever with raspberries and cream). In the afternoon indulge yourself with scones, delicious tarts and cakes, and good coffee and a selection of teas.
The old-world ambience, plus quality ingredients well cooked, pleasing presentation, and lovely service from staff smartly dressed in black and white with black aprons all make for a really enjoyable meal here – and not only is the quality of the pint beyond question, but you might get some traditional music too.