You’ll get a very different slant on Limerick from this atmospheric bar on the County Clare side of the River Shannon – said to be one of the oldest pubs in the city, it has character by the bucketful and a splendid view across the Curragower Falls to King John’s Castle from the front windows or the attractive terrace.
The riverside location is really splendid and it’s matched by friendly, helpful staff and that indefinable character that a pub takes on when it’s a real ‘local’. It’s in a pleasant residential area, and near Thomond Park – it’s a popular meeting place on the way to matches and their ‘pig-on-spit’ is a speciality on days when Munster are playing.
When it comes to the food normally served, the emphasis is on freshly cooked food using local ingredients; the menu is not extensive and the style is homely, which suits the surroundings. Although billed as a seafood bar, the offering is quite evenly balanced to include other choices, including vegetarian options.
Starters and lighter dishes will range from soups (one of which will be the house chowder), various salads and sandwiches including a speciality triple-decker sandwich (with ham and chicken) and warm salads (probably a choice of goats cheese and black pudding, or chicken).
But the main speciality dishes are all seafood, and it’s the kind of food you like to eat in bars rather than restaurants – mussels in garlic butter, for example, served with homemade brown bread; the Curragower breaded scampi, which comes with salad, tartare sauce and crushed black pepper hand-cut chips; the house fish & chips; and the Curragower seafood pie – a tasty, wholesome mixture of fish and shellfish in a creamy sauce that’s topped with a generous thatch of colcannon.
All have their fans, but sometimes all people want is one of the Curragower mixed baskets - a combination of scampi, black & white pudding, sausages and chips to share over a drink; ask about their speciality beers.
Desserts are homemade too, and nice to have with a cup of tea or coffee during the day – meringues with fresh strawberries & cream, perhaps, or a sinfully rich chocolate cake.
Aside from food, and the sporting connections, the Curragower is a traditional Irish music venue, with live sessions every night in summer and Wednesday to Sunday in winter. It may be off the beaten track but the Curragower is an interesting place to know about.