Named after the previous owner, Helen Mullane and Armel Whyte’s café-bar seems much older than it is, as the whole interior was reconstructed with salvaged materials (the flooring was once in the London Stock Exchange).
It is brilliantly done, with the long, narrow bar divided up in the traditional way, with oilcloth-covered tables, now extending into a restaurant in the house next door. It is the type of contemporary, self-confident Irish eating house that visitors hope for but do not always find in every provincial town.
Helen is an impressive hostess, buzzing about, dealing with orders and queries with grace and efficiency, backed up by an organised kitchen playing to its strengths: great raw materials, careful cooking by a mix of old hands and new recruits, well led by Armel and head chef, Theo Lynch.
Pub/bistro lunch dishes executed with flair include great soups - the most delightfully fishy chowder ,for example, or an authentic French onion soup complete with gorgeous stringy cheese. perfectly executed quiches are great mainstay and there may be a tasty filo parcel of St Tola organic goats cheese with mixed leaves and Mediterranean vegetables and crispy potato skins.
Fresh fish and crab are always a treat - perfectly cooked and presented with just the right level of panache - and there are simple but excellent homemade desserts, such a delicious old-fashioned lemon meringue pie and an innovative courgette and chocolate gateau.
You could have a quick lunch here for less than €12 and not feel that your low spend was in any way resented.
An à la carte dinner menu ups the ante and offers excellent mains ranging from around €20 to €30, highlighting the day's fresh fish and seafood from Fenit and with some good meat dishes - a more-ish oven roasted pork rack cutlet with sundried tomato tapenade, with celery & apple salad at around €22.95, for example, or how about a baked half lobster & wild jumbo prawns in a thermidor sauce, topped with Knockanore smoked cheddar (€28.50)?
Vegetarians are well looked after too - a favourite is the filo parcel of St Tola goat cheese, which dresses up very nicely in the evening, served with toasted nuts, mixed baby leaf salad and a homemade chutney (about €18.95).
And there's no chance of things getting stale around here, as theme nights are held every Thursday when the kitchen team has fun with menus from France, Italy, America, China and others around the world. They've been doing this for years and it's an ongoing success.
It's casual dining at its best - if only every Irish town had somewhere like Allo's.