Many years have passed now since we last drank a pint in this north County Laois town and the Old Commando in particular was glad to be back in the O’Moore County.
It was a damp and miserable night when we arrived in Mountmellick and we were in no mood to walk the streets and risk a soaking.
“We’ll visit the first pub we see” the Old Commando stated to the troops as our designated driver arrived on the Main Street.
That pub just happened to be ‘Druid Inn’ and we believe it was the first time Pub Spy and the team had ever been to this establishment. The bar doors were closed, although not locked as we initially thought, so we proceeded to the lounge which was enjoying a brisk trade at the time.
There was a mixed clientele with the more middle-aged to elderly customers seated just inside the premises while the young boys and girls were occupying the back of the pub, where the pool table and jukebox were located.
We sat somewhere in the middle section as we attempted to get the best of both worlds and sample both atmospheres, and we dispatched the Young Commando to the counter to get the first round in.
There were two members of staff on duty and we placed our order with the barman but received our drinks from the blonde-haired barmaid.
Both staff members were polite and friendly and seemed to be very popular with the local clientele. We certainly couldn’t fault them and how we were treated but we were quite taken aback to have to pay €5 for a pint of Guinness “down the country”.
“When are the Government going to step in and stop this madness, they’re killing the Irish pub trade” the Old Commando fumed
While the price of the pint left us far from impressed, we were cheered up by the taste and texture. It was a lovely pint in fact and we wasted little time in ordering up our second round.
There was a really good atmosphere in the pub and the music from the jukebox was only enhancing it further. Despite the fact it was the “young ones” controlling it, we were able to enjoy the ballads of the likes of Christy Moore and The Saw Doctors to name but a few.
The timber bench seating with red velvet cushion was in good condition and each of the tables had a number assigned to it, possibly from back in the Covid days of table service.
The solid-fuel stove was a nice feature but thankfully it wasn’t lit. It may have been cold outside, but it was nice and cosy inside the lounge. The timber flooring was well worn but it was clean and there is hand sanitizer stations located at the different points throughout the pub.
A Framed Ireland soccer jersey worn by Stephanie Roche hangs in one corner of the pub while in the opposite corner there is a framed Dublin ladies GAA jersey. Our Young Commando took a stroll out to the bar area where he said there are numerous more GAA jerseys signed and on display, including Kerry, Dublin men’s, Laois and Wicklow.
There are two TV’s in the bar but it was surprisingly quiet in this section. There was a handful of regulars throwing darts but the Young Commando said other than that there wasn’t much happening.
We dispatched our designed driver to cast an eye over the loos and he said they checked out just fine with three urinals, one cubicle, a paper towel dispenser and an electric hand dryer. We had a great time in the ‘Druid Inn’ and we’d certainly call again if we’re in the area.
Rating: Three pints out of Five
One for the road
Rhythm & Booze- Portarlington
THE Old Commando had been in this building before but thinks it may have been trading under a different name at the time. We could hear the music thumping from outside and we were expecting a big party atmosphere, but we were surprised once we arrived to find it wasn’t overly busy.
A friendly young barman served us immediately and there was plenty of seating available throughout the pub. We noticed they have huge speakers at one end of the bar where the dance music was blaring and a large screen TV at the opposite end of the pub, but this was switched off.
The Young Commando loved his time here although he wished it was a bit busier while our Female Commando made the most of the three West Coast Coolers for €10 offer. A nice pub on the border of Laois and Offaly.
Rating: Three pints out of Five