THE Old Commando was only too delighted to be visiting Kildare town this week following Dublin’s victory in the minor football final over the Llilywhites on Wednesday night.
It’s just under a one hour drive from HQ to James Nolan’s pub and that’s where we found ourselves supping pints.
“It’s always good to visit the GAA folks of Kildare,” the Old Commando said as our designated driver parked the pub-mobile outside the Silken Thomas restaurant.
“They love their football around these parts and you always get a good rise out of them,” he joked.
We walked back towards James Nolan’s pub which is beside the garda station on Main Street, and we were served by the lovely barmaid on duty as soon as we arrived. It was relatively busy but the barmaid kept the show on the road and she even managed to play a few hands of cards with some of the older gentlemen seated at the end of the counter.
“You see, this is what guys like that would have missed in 2020 and 2021 when Mr Martin let Nphet run the country. The social interaction with people and a few harmless pints,” the Young Commando quipped.
“I thought I told you before we’ve banned that N word, along with the C19 word. They’re never to be mentioned again,” the Old Commando grumbled.
There are plenty of options available on draught, such as Rockshore lager and cider, Coors and even Guinness Zero, but it was the cost of a pint of regular stout that left us stuck for words.
“€5 for a pint of Guinness?” the Old Commando complained. “It’s not Temple Bar we’re in,” he continued to moan. “The Government have to intervene here shortly or they’ll just kill the pub trade in this country.”
There are three TVs in the upper section of the bar with a further two located in the lower section, and each TV was showing something different. It was a predominately male clientele, especially in this section, but the ages ranged from young to elderly.
There’s a pool table at the opposite end of the counter and it was very busy during our stay as the younger clientele enjoyed a few games.
The timber flooring was very clean and the leather covered barstools were in excellent condition. There is multiple hand sanitiser stations throughout the pub and a copy of the Declaration of Independence hangs proudly behind the counter.
As more customers began to filter through the doors we noticed that some elderly couples were sitting in the lower section of the pub and the kind barmaid was providing table service to them.
There was a very good atmosphere in the pub and the Old Commando enjoyed looking through the old Raheens GAA photos, including one of the Intermediate football team that won the 1954 championship.
“Maybe they’ll have a new photo to hang up after May 28 if Kildare can beat the Dubs in the senior football final,” the Old Commando said to one of the locals he was engaging with.
Our Young Commando was dispatched to inspect the toilets and he returned with a glowing report, stating they should be shown to other publicans for guidance on how toilets should look.
He used the word “exemplary” and said they were exceptionally clean, while he also told us there is a terrific smoking area at the rear of the bar.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in James Nolan’s pub and we’d have no qualms about calling again some day.
Rating: Four pints out of Five
One for the road
The Burrow - Rathangan
THERE was a steady trade in The Burrow when Pub Spy and the team dropped by recently for a quick pint.
The barman, who we think was named Ryan, was very friendly and he kept himself busy for the duration of our stay. It was predominately a male clientele with some of the locals playing a few hands of poker. There are two TVs either side of the counter with live football being shown and we really enjoyed the atmosphere.
We spotted plenty of GAA related photos, including the Rathangan footballers of yesteryear who lifted the Intermediate championship trophy, and also the Kildare footballers of 1998 — the nearly men.
The tiled floor was spotlessly clean and the cream leather bench seating was in good condition too.
We inspected the loos before we left and would suggest the cubicle lock and the toilet roll holder are fixed.
Rating: Three pints out of Five