‘A traditional Irish pub with a modern feel’ is how Cormac O'Connor describes his town centre bar and that’s a fair description - renovations have been undertaken with respect and it’s still very much a local where friends can meet for a pint or a casual bite to eat, as well as a welcoming place for visitors.
The warm and friendly bar is comfortably set up for eating, with booths providing privacy for families or small groups and, while the menu may seem alarmingly long at first glance, chef Chris Burrows seems to have everything well under control and there’s also a daily specials board with the hot tips of the day.
Daytime fare begins with breakfast - available until 1pm and always a bit different in Ulster, thanks to the soda farls and potato bread - and then there’s a wide range of snacks like panini, open sandwiches and wraps available until the evening menu kicks in from 5pm.
This is a more serious affair altogether, with seafood to the fore in starters like salt’n’chilli squid, local crab claws in garlic butter and a pot of mussels in Irish cider cream, while a vegetarian favourite is breaded mushrooms with a garlic mayo dip. Some dishes, including the mussels, are available in two sizes.
Beer battered fish and chunky chips with mushy peas are always a sure fire winner, and there’s a choice of steaks, comforting braised pork and leek sausages with black pudding mash, and a pie of the day on the specials board - chicken, perhaps, or beef & Guinness. Homemade curries are a speciality too, so there’s plenty to choose from if you have hankering for something spicy.
Music is another attraction at this friendly and unpretentious pub, with local traditional Irish musicians playing on Thursday nights (after 9pm) and other entertainment on varying nights, all year. A good place to know about.