The true heritage

What is it about bars that holds the Belfast heritage better than churches? Fantastic to see that a campaign to save the Rotterdam in Belfast’s old dockland has won at least a reprieve. Together with its ecclesiastical equivalent Charles Lanyon’s very fine Sinclair Seamen’s church it represents a last remnant of a seafaring age that shaped so much of the character of Belfast. Not so successful was the campaign to save – or even shunt elsewhere – the deeply mourned Kitchen Bar, demolished to make way for the new Victoria Square complex. Only for the Catholic church in Sailortown was such a campaign waged for preservation.
What respite from the new monumentalism of Victoria Square would there be without my own favourite, the entirely unselfconscious and quite magical Bittle’s , still perched precariously at the edge of the site? Or the Morning Star in Pottinger’s Entry? Without the Belfast entry, what would there be left of Henry Joy’s Belfast apart from Kelly’s Cellars, still retaining its air of slight menace? And without that, what would remain that’s uniquely Belfast?

The Elbow Room, Cassidy’s a family bar in Bankmore St where Mr Cassidy served you gravely like a sommelier, now long gone, McGlade’s, the el Vino of Belfast, and the Duke of York (name corrected) where Gerry Adams once pulled a pint, all were refuges from the storm for weary journalists in the bad old days. At the pinnacle of course sits the Crown Bar, officially heritaged by the National Trust. But Robinson’s beside it and Lavery’s up the road are just as good or better and survive unprotected.

Even as recession looms, long may these flourish and the others in your own list.

  • Rory

    “officially heritaged by the National Trust”

    No noun that can’t be verbed, eh, Brian?

    Also delighted to see that the campaign to save the Rotterdam has won a reprieve. Now we can hope that the bar also will similarly win a reprieve.

  • wild turkey

    Brian

    1. Fair enough but these are all city centre pubs. Given that Belfast ain’t a city but a collection of villages, any recommendations from you or anyone else on gems which might be only known to the locals and not the wider population? Then again, the locals might like their secrets well kept.

    2. When is the historic/cultural pub crawl being organisied?

    3. ‘refuges from the storm for weary journalists in the bad old days.’ Benny’s A-1. A great lose.

  • The Raven

    A nice post, Brian.

    May I add The Garrick, please? I have no idea of its history, whether its interior be the real deal or a bit of twee faux, but I like it a lot.

    So many of the old bars turned into super-pubs – The Fly, while maybe not of any particular heritage other than a few woozy Sunday afternoons, springs to mind – it’s a wonder any are left at all.

  • Peat Blog

    Don’t forget the Hatfield or the John Hewitt (nice old buildings).

    A point of correction: Robinson’s is located within the City Centre Conservation Area and therefore does have protection. However, The Kitchen was as well and we know what happened there.

    The Campaign for Real Ale produced a heritage pub trial around Belfast a number of years ago and, I think, the NITB was going to produce an official guide. The latter would have been rather embarrassing given the governments collaboration in the Kitchens demise.

  • LURIG

    The Rotterdam, Pat’s Bar, The Morning Star, The ‘Old’ Kitchen Bar, The Duke of York (during the day) ALL had their own unique atmosphere’s and that’s what people like and went. They were places where someone’s religion or politics didn’t prevent them getting a pint so long as they respected others. I have NEVER seen people in these bars try to intimidate others because they were of a different faith, colour or creed and for all our faults many of us feel very comfortable in bars like that. Pat’s Bar especially had all the characters off the boats from every corner of the world and it was a really brilliant place in the 70’s and 80’s. It still has a good atmosphere when there’s a bit of music and a crowd. Likewise the Rotterdam was very smokey and atmospheric although it always had a hairier ‘Neil from the Young Ones’ Gothy type of crowd. The Morning Star is still the BEST bar in the city centre by a long way. Great shape of a bar, a good feeling, tasty food, fresh beer and great service AND still mixed with punters from everywhere. We should be preserving places like this instead of building dreary grey super pubs.

  • heck

    don’t forget Pat’s bar in the docks area (is it still there?)

  • Driftwood

    Any survivors from Lavery’s back bar in the early 80’s out there?

  • wild turkey

    Driftwood

    The first time I was in Laverys, circa 1982, I had a profound sense of Deja Vu. And then it hit me…

    The bar scene out of the original Star Wars fillum.

    Some characters in there never seriously considered for mass production…which I suppose is what gives a good pub its atmosphere. And why I made Charlie Lavery a very rich man.

    PS Does anyone know if Dumigans in Portaferry is still in its original state?

  • Driftwood

    wild turkey
    Right on the nail….
    If you remember a guy called chink, you got me.
    I know people in Portaferry, report back.

    Charlie Lavery. great character.

    I was going to say I grew up in Laverys back bar, but what I meant was that I didn’t..grow up I mean.
    Was Pamela behind the bar then, or Fiona?
    Halcyon Days

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Whoah! Nostalgia alert!! Does the editor of the Sunday World know you’ve started this thread? Next you’ll be talking about the “docks” and the “crack we had up at the yard” chasing fenians during the 12th – for a bit of a luagh like. Sure, they loved it.

    Lavery’s has long since become the home of nasty thugs and loyalists from the nearby Sandy Row and there were an alarming number of UFF muscle-mutts being homo-erotic together upstairs in Robinson’s a year or two back (despite the diddly-dee back bar).

    Kelly’s Cellars – jury’s still out on its revival.

    Some bars seem to attract a sort of mainly nationalist counter culture with liberal prods thrown in, Duke of York, for example.
    White’s Tavern, too although I had to get out of there a year ago when the Ballymaccarret Defenders band descended on the place during a folk session.

    John Hewitt is a bit try-hard but is fine if you want to pose as a trade union type or an old Stick. Can’t think of any bars that attract mainly working class loyalists but where they do, they aren’t the most welcoming places. Beaten Docket and that shithole on Bradbury Place, Benedicts.

    These days, if it attracts ‘hacks’ in any number you’re best to give it a wide berth. Unless you want to hear how the Troubles really started and who the back-channel for the secret talks really waszzzzzzzzz

  • wild turkey

    Driftwood
    ‘Was Pamela behind the bar then, or Fiona? ‘

    Don’t know, but do you remember Susie?

    ‘Halcyon Days ‘? More like days of whines and poseurs.

    Let me know about Dumigans? Many thanks

  • GavBelfast

    Where was the Star and Garter (not sure of spelling)? It’s a name of a bar I remember hearing when I was a child.

    I walked down Skipper Street yesterday for the first time in years and, going toward High Street, there was a bar on the right side of the street that seems to have been re-invented (it used to serve great stew under its previous name – any ideas?) and on the other side of the street another pub has now been demolished.

    The Linen Hall was BBC and insurance types wasn’t it?

  • Moochin Photoman

    Demolition this week revealed this
    I was only ever in the Portacabin where the Potthouse is……is that how the license’s get moved around?
    Knock one down move it along?

  • LURIG

    Bit of a mixed bag there Billy Joe. Believe it or not there WERE Catholics who worked in the Docks, they were mainly the Deep Sea Dockers who worked the container ships from abroad and the Cross Channel Dockers were largely Protestant, they dealt with ships from Britain. The Dockers Club in Pilot St is still there, it had a largely Catholic membership but it also many Protestant members, there was NEVER any religious or political bar. The largely Protestant cross channel dockers had their club in lower North Street for years. Pats Bar & the Rotterdam are in full flow again, have had a stay of execution from the developers and will be open for the forseeable future. There is great grub during the day in Pat’s Bar now.
    All those little streets in and around Sailortown were mainly Catholic but the Bars have always been mixed. The folk groups that played Pat’s Bar ALWAYS had players from everywhere, you had musicians from East & South Belfast playing with guys from West & North Belfast. I would agree with some of your comments about Shaftesbury Square/Gt Victoria St. At night they can be quite dangerous areas, there are always fights & assaults and this part of the City Centre now seems to be full of the Billy Boy brigade from Donegall Pass and Sandy Row.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Star & Garter is up a little alleyway just down from, er, Ann Summers and that little men’s clothes shop. (The shop is little, not the men.) Down the side of it you can see a Harp (or some such) sign and occasionally, at night, hear revellers. Different name, now and full of old biddies, I suspect.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Billie-joe, you sound a bit like you perhaps go looking for religious or political division where it doesn’t exist, but maybe I’ve just got you wrong. Benedict’s and the Beaten Docket completely suck and I wouldn’t go anywhere near them (mainly owing to the knuckleheads who go there, who have gone upmarket from The Royal and Weatherspoons), but in no way is Lavery’s dominated by loyalists. I go there all the time, especially for pool on the top floor. On a Friday night it’s usually quiet enough so that you can still get a seat. I have seen well-known republicans there as well.

    The thing I love about the bars at the other end of town, eg the Duke, the John Hewitt, White’s, etc is the apolitical atmosphere of them. The John Hewitt in particular attracts an international crowd as well as locals from the New Lodge and elsewhere (who don’t all see it as a stickie paradise).

    I have a soft spot for Bar 12 if I’m at that end of town. The Fly, or whatever it is called now, was and is god-awful and the bouncers are/were twats.

  • lorraine

    kellys no longer retains an air of menace; its a cool, laid back piece of art where one can wallow in an atmosphere of living history. best bar in belfast, good service good beer great craic.

    the fort, and the rock bars still have the old booths………..

  • Driftwood

    Laverys in 1981 attracted the old “Club Bar” crowd, now some student hole. Anyone? John Hewitt seems to be ok. Why would anyone visit The Apartment or Northen Whig? Dismal cattle markets.
    Good Call Comrade, I called back in to Laverys some weeks ago, but The Land of Lost Content…..
    The Wilmar in Newcastle became my retreat. The De Courcy in Downpatrick.
    Belfast is just bland
    Awaiting report back on Dumigans, Turkey, but I prefer the yacht clubs these days.

  • Driftwood

    Oh Turkey
    If you’re down the Ards coast….
    The Saltwater Brig, just outside Kircubbin
    Heaven

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Right, that’s it, I’m away for a pint.

  • wild turkey

    ‘Awaiting report back on Dumigans, Turkey, but I prefer the yacht clubs these days. ‘

    Thanks Driftwood. Ah yes, the haves and the have yachts. Regardless, happy sailing.

    Also, agree with the Comrades take, and your endorsement of it, on Laverys. Even in the 80s/90s it attracted a few whose pillowcases had the ‘traditional’ eyeholes. But it was never an issue.

    An archaeologist friend from Stanford was in Laverys with me one night. After 3 pints (admitedly with Tequilla chasers) he was convinced he had found the, uh, missing link.

  • Eddie

    Mr Walker – another site informs me that Gerry Adams, or nobody else, worked in the Duke of York’s. It’s name was the Duke of York.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The Apartment and the Northern Whig are full of yuppies and, in themselves, are bland and soulless places. I must be getting old, because the last time I was in the Northern Whig, about six months ago, my ears physically began to hurt due to the loudness of the music. Not just discomfort – physically hurt. And it took 15 minutes to queue to get a round in. That completely sucks. If you could at least get laid easily it would count for something, but the crowd are completely up themselves in their own self-importance.

    Has anyone ever been out at the Crown and Shamrock off the Sandyknowes Roundabout ? Best Guinness on this end of the island, I’ll wager.

  • SecretSquirrel

    I agree with Lorraine. :o)
    Best bar in Belfast. (probably)

  • Brian Walker

    Eddie, The Duke of York not York’s. A ghastly error. I’m mortified. Apologies for the wandering finger.
    Now corrected, thanks to you.

  • David Cather

    Billy-Joe don’t try to politicise the only non-political thread on Slugger.

    “Some bars seem to attract a sort of mainly nationalist counter culture with liberal prods thrown in, Duke of York, for example.”

    I’ll quash that myth right now I’m anything but liberal! (In the modern liberal sense in which you meant the word.)

    “Can’t think of any bars that attract mainly working class loyalists but where they do, they aren’t the most welcoming places.”

    Only because you don’t know where to look and where they do I beg to differ.

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    I went to the Club Bar a couple of times when I was 15 years old. That was when The Chosen Few bikers used to go there. I can barely remember it. I was usually bluttered! Does anyone remember the Club House on the Glen Road, beside the old Green Briar?

    I also remember how, in the late-80s, you could buy a carry-out in Laverys and then go around the back entry where they had a couple of gates up staffed by a couple of bouncers. You could only get in if you had a carry-out from the bar. That place was Goth central, with a few Skins mingled in there. Sometimes some Methody ones would slum it out there.

    In the early 90s I’d go to The Fort on the Springfield Road, just up from the Falls/Grosvenor junction. Back then it was owned by Paddy and Frank Gilmartin and it really was the finest wee pub I knew. I was in it recently on a trip back home and, physically, it hasn’t changed a bit and some of the same old heads are still there. If you’re up that neck of the woods and looking for a non-political pint, The Fort is a good bet.

  • John Hewitt is a favourite of mine too.

    Though not in Belfast, can I give an honourable mention to Johnny Joe’s in Cushendall?

    Great thread btw…

  • Robinson’s lost something after it was blown to bits. The upstairs bar was a sort of art deco, thirties style lounge, with a bunch of private rooms off it. I have a vague recollection of an older woman called Sadie who ran it until the late 60s.

    Best night I ever had in Belfast was in the back room of old York hotel one Christmas Eve in 80 or 81, though it never compared in atmosphere with any of the ones mentioned above.

    Kelly’s is great for music and history. but a bit ‘let go’. And agree about Whyte’s Tavern. Only went in for the first time last summer.

    Does anyone remember Terry Hooley’s board game based on the pubs of Belfast? I’m guessing a few of those places don’t exist any more, but perhaps worth a revision and relaunch?

  • wild turkey

    ‘I must be getting old, because the last time I was in the Northern Whig, about six months ago, my ears physically began to hurt due to the loudness of the music. Not just discomfort – physically hurt. And it took 15 minutes to queue to get a round in. That completely sucks… the crowd are completely up themselves in their own self-importance. ‘

    Comarade S.

    Totally agree with the above. Was in the N Whig once and only once as it occured to me around my third frozen margarita that this is what the whole world would be like on a Saturday if the Nazis had one war. That said, the N Whig does have a truly hilarious collection of cabbage dolls.

  • wild turkey

    oops!

    above should read ‘if the Nazis had won the war’

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    It is so sad to see the old architectural fabric of a city destroyed. It’s especially sad when it is a pub – and a pub with a fine Victorian interior. Sad to see so many gutted in Ireland today, both north and south. Ye can’t beat the old traditional city pubs with the varnished wooden panelled bars with brass finishings, cornices, capitals, mirrors, creaky wooden floorboards, a fireplace in the corner etc…and beer flowing. As well as that, a hot toasted sandwich with ham, cheese and onion, topped with lashings of mustard and washed down with a few pints of the black stuff, Guinness! Who needs caviar and champers when one can have heaven!

  • RG Cuan

    I have a soft spot for Bar 12 if I’m at that end of town

    The last few times I’ve been in the Guinness was a bit watery and when I tried the Bass it wasn’t much better. Next time I’ll just go across to the Empire…

    Duke of York, Madden’s, Whyte’s… great pubs. I have to agree about the Norhern Whig, good potential but lacking in any atmosphere whatsoever.

    What’s the Morning Star like? And is there another wee alley near Pottinger’s Entry with another pub?

  • me

    I have fond memories of the Crescent, no scrub that, I vaguely remember being at the Crescent and enjoying it lol. McHughs is hard to beat now for craic and music but the lifeboat has become yuppified. Mc Crackens is is the next entry to the Morning Star and the food is good but the atmosphere poor. the Hatfield has lost its appel and is now a student bar, and the Globe, once the Elms and the before that the Club was full of smicks the last I was in during the football.
    Cathederal Quarter offers some of the best bars in Belfast but a certain amount of snobbery has crept in with some bars operating a door picking policy

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    I don’t look for religious/political divisions, I observe them. I also watch for issues of class, race and gender in whatever setting I’m in. In bars I watch for and see types of people from the oh so pleased with themselves revellers at Vaudeville to the dregs in Benedicts. Just my opinions/experiences, mind. Feel free to differ.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Agree with Damian about the Fort- loved it the few times I was there.

    Thw Duke of York, White’s Tavern and Spaniard are great spots- always a friendly atmosphere.

    Have enjoyable memories of virtually all the drinking spots in and around the university area (including Lavery’s, which I always get dragged back to when returning exiles come beckoning.)

    Very good thread, Brian.

  • RG Cuan

    Anybody tried the new place Muriel’s? Nice enough spot though a bit pretentious.

    ME

    Care to explain what a ‘smick’ is?

  • ggn

    RG Cuan,

    “Care to explain what a ‘smick’ is?”

    Fur aw ye knae ye are a smick hi!

  • picador

    There must be a good bar in north Belfast somewhere but I’m damned if I can think of it.

    I’m glad to hear the Rotterdam has been spared. I haven’t been down Sailortown way in ages. I’ll have to make the effort next time I’m back.

    One great spot which hasn’t got a mention yet is Madden’s Bar in Berry St (just round the corner from Kelly’s Cellars for those who don’t know it).

    And while we’re on the subject of night life, what ever happened to Vicos?

  • me

    I think smick is a descriptor coined by squinter of A-town news fame??
    Youthful, barcode moustache, says fuck and sweet (interchangeable) a lot, wears big white guddies, drinks WKD and is accompanied by an oompa-loompa and FFS tell me you know what they are LOL

    I forgot about the Capstan, was a nice pint, is it still there?

    Whytes has a great music set on a friday night, some Fermanagh lad

  • Bittles is a seriously depressing place. The old Kitchen I had a lot of time for. Laverys is still a great pub, simply because the crowd is so varied. Robinsons, the Crown etc don’t seem to me to attract a community of regulars. They simply contain whoever has blown in on a particular day. I don’t detect any real atmosphere in there. In contrast the Monico Bars next to White’s Tavern have a great traditional atmosphere.

    To branch out a but, the Corner House in Ballymena is sadly missed. There were two fine pubs in Ballymena town centre – the Corner House and the Cabin. Alas the Corner House shut down and the Cabin moved to its old premises losing all its charm in the move.

  • picador

    Youthful, barcode moustache, says fuck and sweet (interchangeable) a lot, wears big white guddies, drinks WKD and is accompanied by an oompa-loompa and FFS tell me you know what they are LOL

    In Belfast parlance – a spide.

    Who needs smicks!?

  • RG Cuan

    One great spot which hasn’t got a mention yet is Madden’s Bar in Berry St

    Check at @ 11:56 AM!

    The Bridge in Newry used to be great, still has some of its old-time atmosphere.

  • me

    Spide is so 1990s lol

  • Big Bird

    Great thread…

    Laverys in the 80’s……!!brings back memories of drinking cider in laverys back entry, when charlie let you in if you looked over 15ish!! (goth/punk/skins/psychobilly attire essential!)
    I never quite worked out, that after getting someone to buy you a carryout, you still had to pass a doorman challenge to drink in the Ally.

    BTW.. the crown may look great, and have plenty of tourists, but it serves the worst pint of Guinness in the city. Good if you have a few mates in a booth, but shite barstaff and beer.
    Anyway…. Maddens, Duke,(although the door policy and red ropes at the weekend is a worrying development), Garrick are all great.

    The fort for a quite one during the week, and the spaniard outside peak times (gets too crowded, but great staff and drink). Muriels is laid back enough, not to attract the in-crowd, so is a welcome alternative at the weekends.

    The front page is a genuine experience….. still as authentic as it gets!! The old Kitchen Bar was the best… with the free sausages and plain bread sent around on a friday night and saturday afternoon, to bridge the hunger gap. Or the ham(thats gammon ham!) and plain bread sandwiches on the bar, with mustard.

    Whites has attracted a rowdy crowd at the weekend and shaftsbury square is just a no go zone these days, with the exception of the empire for a gig. (what happened to the pizza and pint for a quid!)
    John Hewitt is pretentious, not trying to be pretentious, and full with the community development sector, or non-allinged crowd (as they call themselves!)……arts types, who wax lyrical about the troubles and that they need more grants to portray the real people…blah, blah, blah, bollox! Sorry… needed that off my chest.

    Spaniard and the Duke are the current best …but the weekend crowd is getting more “mainstream”, resulting in overcrowding and arseholes everywhere.

    Nothing beats the wonderful wierdness of Laverys in the 80’s, although we hadn’t much choice. You were either a Laverys person of a Bot person (Gaa/Rugby type arsehole). And funny, today, i still meet people, who start the conversation with… “didn’t you used to go to laverys?” 20 years later!!

    Quite fancy a drink now!!

  • Driftwood

    Wild turkey
    I’m afraid informed source has told me Dumigans of Portaferry passed away several months ago. Personal stuff apparently. Maybe changed times, the credit crunch, demographics. So it goes
    To ressurect a thread. Does anyone remember “The Pound” beside Musgrave Street barracks, opposite the old Oxford St bus station? ‘Light’- Jim Armstrong and Jim Gilchrist were the house band. And I seem to remember West belfast band Stalag 17, and a skinhead band “Offensive Weapon” fronted by no other than a certain Johnny Adair.
    The “Harp Bar” anyone? I went one lunchtime when the stripper was on. When I threw her shoe back it hit some bad guy on the head and I had to leave fairly sharpish…..

  • Driftwood

    Big Bird.
    Didn’t you use to go to lavery’s in the 80’s?

  • USA

    On this trip I was in the Duke of York and John Hewitt’s. Both of them were fine – I probably prefer Duke of York. Was also in Johnny Joe’s in Cushendall during a trip to the Glens of Antrim, a great wee pub, and the House of McDonnell in Ballycastle.
    I also was in Bittles. I appreciated the unique architecture of the building and the artwork but I agree with the comment that it is lifeless.
    For the first time ever I had a few bottles of the “Belfast Beer” and was pleasantly suprised.
    Excellent thread by the way.

  • Driftwood

    (what happened to the pizza and pint for a quid!)

    Indeed! remember it well. I got asked to leave for sexual shenanigans up in the balcony part.downstairs. I went to glamorama in Empire a week ago. Too conservative.

  • Moochin Photoman

    The liverpool hardly gets a mention here which i find surprising as it must have been the first port of call for a pint for a lot of people getting straight off the ferry. Demolished near enough 10 years ago (?) it has been a car park for the now defunct ferry terminal opposite and in all likelihood will be the site for a new bridge across to the titanic quarter as one access road to the TQ will not be enough.
    The Hewitt is a great boozer as is the Duke both in the cathedral quarter and have both been shining lights as the area increases in popularity. I think the Hewitt is so successful because it has no tv and a varied cultural programme. It has also just won an award for best beer venue in the UK and Ireland.
    If ya get a chance try the organic Aspalls cider it serves…..fanfeckintastic so it is. It taste nothin’ like yon chemical Magners shite

  • RG Cuan

    If ya get a chance try the organic Aspalls cider it serves…..fanfeckintastic so it is. It taste nothin’ like yon chemical Magners shite

    Aye, it is pretty nice, not as good as Mac’s Armagh Cider that the Hilden Brewery in Lisburn distribute.

    That’s a problem with Ireland’s pub scene today, dominated by a handful of commercial beers and ciders, with no room for our local brews. A pub like Dublin’s Porterhouse would go down well in Belfast…

  • Peat Blog

    Have developed a taste for Hilden’s Headless Dog. Nicer and far cheaper than the normal commerical stuff.

  • Driftwood

    There are good pubs in England which serve independent brewery beers, like Wychwood, who have a fine hobgoblin ale. Very Limited number of good ales here. Tennents/Harp, yuk! and the tendency for Ultra cold beers, while occasionally refreshing are really just so cold to disguise lack of taste. Guinness just is never the same in any 2 bars. Why is that? I swear I’ll go to my grave with that question unanswered.
    Good pubs should be a goldmine. Crap ones will go to the wall in difficult times ahead.

  • Soubriquet

    In answer to another poster I have to suggest Cassidys on the Antrim Road as a good boozer. Maybe not to everyone’s taste but if you’re in when head barman Joe is on you’re sure of a welcome and table service (an all too rare thing these days) also if you’re there more than once chances are they will remember your particular poisin. Obviously being where it is there is no point denying that it is an almost exclusively catholic/nationalist/republican clientele, however I’ve been witness to people being out on their arse for acting in a sectarian manner, whether through singing or mouthing off. It is sad but true that many of the bars in North Belfast are kips you wouldn’t drink in if you could avoid it. But for me, as a regular, I like the atmosphere in Cassidys and they do a mean fry of a morning too.

  • Eddie

    What about The Brown Horse in Little Donegall Street, opposite the side of the Telegraph? Most of the BT’s printers drank there. So did Malcolm Brodie. And Joe Bambrick.

  • Driftwood

    As a so called ‘prod’ in Cassidys quite a few years ago, I found it ok, and good Guinness.
    But off the beaten track for average punters.
    I found ‘The Hardford Inn’ Newtownards ok for punks in the mid 80’s, but I would have felt uncomfortable if I had been Catholic. Maybe that’s true of certain areas, no matter how good the bar. Still a fractured society we live in.

  • Moochin Photoman

    Cassidys as i recall 10 years ago was ok…even with a dodgy accent!!!

    “not as good as Mac’s Armagh Cider that the Hilden Brewery in Lisburn distribute.”
    Thanks for the tip i’ll have to hunt that down to down a few 🙂
    Any pubs in East Belfast that would be ok for a pint?

  • Eddie

    Is Paddy Lamb’s on the Upper Newtownards Road still there?