You'll strike it rich' with this fine boozer
After numerous weeks of pleasing the Old Commando – or being dictated to by the Old Commando! – Pub Spy and his team of crack Commandos decided it was time to treat everyone else, and where better than Galway City.
It was the summer of 2012 when we last dropped in to Eyre Square and Shop Street, so we were full of excitement.
“If ye lot had any sense you would have waited until next week when the races are on,” the Old Commando groaned.
We arrived in Galway following a two-hour journey and there was temptation from some of the travelling party to stay overnight.
“It doesn’t have to be race week for Galway to be electric,” the Young Commando said.
“This city is always busy and we always have a great time, even with that old grouch tagging along,” he joked, while pointing at the Old Commando.
It was late in the night when we called to Richardson’s bar on the corner of Prospect Hill and Eyre Square, but we still managed to get served quickly and even located some seating.
A friendly bespectacled barman served us immediately and we sensed he’s no stranger to bar work. He was serving multiple people at once and he remembered everyone’s order.
It struck us that he was on a first-name basis with plenty of customers and we realised that Richardson’s bar seems to cater for locals or regulars more so than the tourist trade.
The Old Commando opted for a pint of Smithwick’s on this occasion and he was very complementary of both the pint and the barman.
“You’d know that lad’s in the game a long time,” he said about the barman. “I’d say if I left and came back in two months, he’d remember what I was drinking. Some barmen are like that.”
It cost €4.50, which is about the going rate in this area and there are pints of Foster available for €3.40, if you’d prefer some lager.
They were advertising food in Richardsons, but they weren’t serving during our stay, although there was sandwiches and chocolate available at the counter.
The majority of the clientele were male and there was a very good atmosphere. There is a vast amount of seating throughout the pub and the timber floor and brown/reddish floor tiles were very clean.
There are T-shirts for sale for €12 and they’re sure to be a hit with the Yanks when they visit. There are numerous licence plates hanging throughout the bar from Australia and the United States and there’s even an old bicycle hanging from a pole.
“It just wouldn’t be an Irish pub without the bicycle hanging from somewhere,” the Young Commando joked.
Richardsons also have an off licence adjoining the bar and it kept staff members busy during our stay.
It was the Old Commando’s turn to give the toilets the once-over and he reported back to us that they are very small and basic, but that they were clean.
He noticed on his return a collection of framed Everton football jerseys and scarves and made sure to point them out to his Liverpool FC supporting colleagues.
We counted three TVs in total, a poker machine and a jukebox, which was blasting out plenty of trad music.
Pub Spy and his team had a good trip to Richardsons and while it wasn’t as busy as other pubs, it had a certain appeal to it.
It seems to cater for the older crowd and sometimes that’s exactly what Pub Spy requires.
A full-service US mission in Havana could offer some reassurance to companies interested in investing in Cuba and also help seed the way for more travel to the island by American citizens which is still heavily restricted,
The normalisation process has been slowed by lingering disputes, including over human rights, as well as Havana's desire to keep a tight rein on its society and state-run economy.
A US economic embargo against Cuba will remain in place, and only Congress can lift it, something that majority Republicans are unlikely to do anytime soon despite Obama's call for it to be rescinded.