Food & DrinkPub Spy

Glynn's of Athenry has us on a high

Glynn's of Athenry
Glynn's of Athenry

We wondered if the pubs would be quiet as we made our way to Athenry, Co Galway, this past week.

“Athenry is a very religious place. I’d say half the town are off the beer for Lent,” the Old Commando stated.

“Not at all,” the Young Commando replied. “That aul’ tradition is about as fashionable these days as the high bike.” 

It had been five years since we set foot in the famous town of Athenry, and that was far too long given that we always have a wonderful time here. 

Our designated driver got us here safely in just under two hours and we were free to roam the streets in search of a lively watering hole – although the Young Commando reckons every pub in Athenry is lively.

We had actually walked past J Glynn’s pub on Old Church Street when the Old Commando heard plenty of noise coming from out the door. The Young Commando said he hadn’t even seen the pub but that it looked very old from outside.

He was right. This pub was established almost 120 years ago, but one step inside the front door and you’ll quickly realise the decor and furniture is as good as new. One of our Commandos commented that the timber floor looked like it had only been laid in the last few weeks it was in such good condition.

We made ourselves at home at the end of the counter on the comfy red leather barstools and we were greeted immediately by a smiling barmaid with dark hair.

She was very attractive, but more importantly (to the Old Commando at least), she was well able to fill the pint glasses. He wasn’t overly impressed when he received his pint of stout in the English-style pint glass but he drank it all the same and said it was a real bargain for just €4. The barmaid’s name eludes us but the Young Commando said he won’t forget her in a hurry.

“Athenry is full of good-looking barmaids. My local hasn’t had a barmaid in over four years. Sure it has to be good for business,” the Young Commando said as he smiled from ear to ear. 

The bar was well stocked and the atmosphere was excellent among the mixed clientele of all ages. It was sunny outside but there was still a slight chill in the air so we were more than happy to see a roaring open coal fire just across from the counter. 

The Old Commando pointed out some memorable photos of the great Galway football teams of the 1960s and remarked on how that really was a golden era for The Tribesmen. There’s also a nice photo of the local club team that captured the All-Ireland hurling club title back in 2000. No doubt they were cheering on their neighbours Corofin on St Patrick’s Day gone by.

There are two TVs in the bar and a jukebox in the hallway beside the loos. The Young Commando checked out the toilets and he said they were in exceptional condition. There is one cubicle and he said there was a basket on the window sill containing tubs of Brylcreem and Lynx deodorant for the customer

“I was going to use some of them to try and impress that lovely barmaid,” the Young Commando told us upon his return. “They wouldn’t do you any good.

You’d still have the same personality,” the Old Commando replied.

The smoking area at the rear of the pub is very nice and it also contains a large-screen TV and a cast-iron pot belly stove. There are plenty of large tables and chairs and on a summer’s day we bet it fills up very quickly.

Five years may have passed since our last visit, but Athenry remains the same old reliable 
spot. This was another worthwhile visit. We can’t wait to come back and J Glynn’s will definitely be on our places to see list.