This attractive family-run bar in Doonbeg village is run by the energetic Hugh McNally, who has upped the ante in recent years.
While retaining some of the charm of the old bar, he has given this lively seafood bar and grill a refreshing more contemporary look, with an extension on to the River Cree and a lovely decking area overlooking the river, which has brought excellent views and light to the dining room.
The interior is all darkwood floors, cream walls and burgundy leather, a nice contrast to a collection of paintings and photographs, both new and old, of the village and local coastline.
Seafood is the speciality and everything is very fresh, with a good selection offered in season. Simply presented menus are just the right length with dishes such as the house seafood chowder, Carrigaholt crab claws and Atlantic jumbo prawns for starters along with main fish courses such as excellent home-made scampi and chips, or fresh fillet of salmon with warm baby potato salad. Main offerings from the grill include an Angus sirloin steak whilst, in winter, specialities include roasted monkfish and meat casseroles.
Homely desserts include crumbles (apple & blackberry in late summer and early autumn, perhaps) and sticky toffee pudding, served with a good (but not necessarily local) commercial ice cream
Cooking is good, and the very nice staff are friendly and willing.
An interesting and well presented wine list offers a good selection of bottles, well described; some half bottles offered.
Seven bedrooms are bright and pristine, with good facilities - phone, TV, iron/trouser press. The difficulty here is getting a booking, as the rooms are understandably in great demand.
Children welcome (under 3s free in parents room, cot available at no cost) Rooms 7 (all en-suite, 2 Executive, 1 Junior Suite, all no smoking); B&B about €50, SS €20.