Food & DrinkPub Spy

Pub Spy: Bunny's, Clara, Co Offaly

The troops enjoyed the atmosphere in Bunny's
The troops enjoyed the atmosphere in Bunny's

The commandos are no strangers to the town of Clara, although it had been a few years since their last visit. The Old Commando loves these trips to the Faithful County and he says the name ‘Biffo’ couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Is it true the further south you go the thicker they get?” the Young Commando joked.

“I’ve always had great craic with the Offaly lads anyway. They’re great aul’ sneers and well able for the porter too,” the Old Commando replied as the pub-mobile turned off the M6 in Moate.

It was after 7pm when we drove through Clara town and we couldn’t believe the amount of pubs that were closed. Have these pubs closed down or have they been reduced to very late opening hours? It was sad to see.

“Jaysus boss, I thought this place would be still booming after the last government. You know that old saying of ‘look after your own’ and all that,” our Young Commando joked.

We managed to find a parking spot just across the road from Bunny’s pub and, as many times as we’ve been to Clara over the past 40 years, we couldn’t recall ever being to this bar. The bright red exterior was attractive and all of the Commandos were keen to check it out.

A red-haired barmaid named Lorraine served us as soon as we arrived and there was a lively atmosphere. The mixed clientele were mostly middle-aged and there was plenty of banter being brandished about.

The Old Commando ordered his pint of stout and it cost him just €4.10, which is a little bit cheaper than other areas in the Midlands. The Old Commando was impressed with the price, but he wasn’t too pleased that it came in the new-style glass.

“I thought everyone done away with them dreadful designs. Nothing beats the old style tumbler, simple as,” he groaned. 

For all his complaining, he wasn’t long in polishing off his pint and he was more than willing to drink a second, so it mustn’t have tasted too bad!

The pubmobile has been to Clara on many occasions and our last visit came in January 2012, but the Commandos were scratching their heads wondering why they couldn’t remember a pub named Bunny’s.

“It used to be Galvin’s,” a voice said over our shoulders. A local had overheard our conversation and told us the pub is only known as Bunny’s in the last few years.

There are three TVs and a projection screen in Bunny’s bar and the Old Commando found it very cosy in front of the wood pellet stove in the corner of the pub.

Apparently, it only costs €3 a day to run and we can vouch that it was producing great heat. Some of the wine-coloured barstools have seen better days and should be 
reupholstered, but the timber floor was clean and the pine counter was in good shape.

There is a smoking area located just off the main bar and the Young Commando told us there is a TV, a gaming machine, a punchbag machine and a nice stove to keep you warm on those cold Midlands nights.

The Old Commando was admiring some of the pictures of the great Offaly sides and he really liked the framed picture from 2004 celebrating Offaly GAA being the only county in Ireland with an All-Star in every position in both hurling and football.

“What a remarkable achievement for a county this size,” he said. 

Our designated driver checked out the loos and he said the floor was very wet and there was a piece of the toilet bowl broken. The paper towel dispenser was full and the electric dryer was working.

We had a good time and couldn’t fault the atmosphere. The Old Commando thoroughly enjoyed himself and he wished the Faithful followers all the best in their championship opener this weekend.