Right in the centre of Kilrush, in a corner location on the great square, Crotty’s of Kilrush is a fine imposing building dating back the early nineteenth century. It’s a first port of call for many visitors and, when you stay there, you feel part of the action of this buzzing market town.
Crotty’s was established as a public house in 1914 by Miko Crotty and his wife, Lizzie, who became a famous traditional musician. Known simply as ‘Mrs Crotty’ to this day, her spirit is alive and well as Crotty’s remains one of West Clare’s foremost traditional Irish music bars, with sessions held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights in summer (June to September) and bands playing on alternate weekends.
Currently in the caring ownership of Rebecca Brew and Kevin Clancy, a very welcoming young couple who enjoy introducing visitors to real Irish hospitality, Crotty’s was the Failte Ireland Tourist Pub of the Year 2009 and, while that may have a somewhat commercial ring to it, its character is authentic.
It is a wonderful place, with a number of separate areas (public bars and snugs, The Kitchen, Store, Tap rooms,) and all the features that make Victorian Irish pubs so special - old woodwork with the natural patina of age (or many layers of paint), ornate tiled and solid plank floors, pitch pine counters, old mirrors, shelves and walls awash with historical memorabilia.
Good food is also important at Crottys and they serve a lot of meals every day at this popular place. The range of menus caters for casual daytime bites, more substantial evening meals and, on Sunday, a more traditional offering to include ever-popular roasts.
During the day you can drop in for simple fare like wraps and panini, seafood open sandwiches, baked potatoes with various fillings, homemade lasagne, or salads.
Then from 5pm the evening menu introduces more structured meals including a good rib-eye steak and other old favourites such as fish & chips, along with plenty of other choices.
Private Dining Room and meeting room available.
A separate hall door brings you up carpeted and mahogany stairs to the 3rd floor, where the sound of Crotty’s famous traditional music sessions in the bar below should not disturb your sleep.
The five en-suite bedrooms have fine high ceilings, and the views from the tall windows give you a feeling of space and the comfort of being in the centre of things.
Individually decorated, with fine Jacobean type curtain fabrics, antique furniture and beds dressed with elegant cream embossed bed covers and classic satin edged blankets, they are pleasingly traditional but also have the necessary modern cons including cable TV, free WiFi and tea/coffee facilities.
On the same floor, a lovely sitting room and dining room also have a touch of old world, in keeping with the whole upstairs area.
A good place to stay while exploring wonderfully away-from-it-all West Clare; the famous Vandeleur Walled garden and the West Clare Railway are both nearby, for example, also the Shannon Estuary with its resident population of bottle nosed dolphins.