Opened in May 2015, the Draft House has proved a welcome addition to Strandhill, a tiny seaside village known for its surfing scene. This gastro pub fits in perfectly, with its casual food, quality drinks and laid-back vibe.
The interior is dark and snug and bang on trend, with lots of exposed brick and worn wood offset by the occasional white metro tiles. The main bar, which was designed by local artists and made from reclaimed materials, takes pride of place in the downstairs room. Upstairs there’s a wood-burning stove where you could happily pull up one of the inviting leather chairs to wait out a winter storm with something good to eat and drink. In good weather, there’s a large outdoor dining area at the front where you can take advantage of the sea views.
The food ticks a lot of the typical gastro pub boxes: seafood chowder, buffalo chicken wings with a blue cheese dip, a juicy burger, a pulled pork sandwich or slow-roasted pork belly and fish ‘n’ chips are all on offer. More unusual choices include shredded pork and coriander croquettes to start, a superfood salad of the day ,or perhaps a chermoula marinated red snapper tagine. The chocolate and rapeseed oil mousse is a lovely way to end a meal, although you might also be tempted by a marshmallow and coconut ice.
To wash it all down, you can choose from the good range of Irish craft beers, with the local White Hag Brewery featuring strongly, or one of the whiskeys and gins from their extensive list.
The Draft House takes pride in its suppliers, whether it’s meat sourced from local Sligo butchers, quail eggs from Leitrim, duck from Cavan or salad leaves from Roscommon, all are credited on menus and the website.
With friendly staff, a fun atmosphere, good food and drink and an enviable seaside location, The Draft House is a good place to know about if you're touring the Wild Atlantic Way.