Pubspy - Arklow, Co. Wicklow | 

Barman Jim will fix it for you with creamy pints at just €5 in Arklow’s Brook House

The Old Commando stopped us in our tracks immediately as he pointed at the pricelist at the front door stating that pints of Guinness were going to cost him €4.35.

The Brook House pub in Arklow, Wicklow


The Brook House – Arklow, Co. Wicklow

IT was just over five years since we last drank a pint in Arklow and before that it was 2009.

“Two visits in 14 years. Anyone would think we didn’t like the place,” the Old Commando laughed while explaining that we were long overdue a right good session in south Wicklow.

“I don’t know why we haven’t been here more often,” he continued. “There’s always a good session to be had in Arklow, renowned for having good characters about the place,” he stated.

The pub-mobile took just over an hour to arrive in Arklow town from our HQ and we were soon parked near the front door of ‘The Brook House’ pub.

The turquoise-coloured building with red nameplate lettering and windows certainly stood out but so did the noise emanating from the front bar.

The Old Commando has had a huge bee in his bonnet over the past few months as the price of alcohol continues to soar and Government officials couldn’t care less (why would they, they can still afford it) so he has decided that if pubs are going to charge through the nose for pints of stout, he’s going to scrutinise their premises like never before.

“They’ll have every excuse under the sun for raising prices, but when was the last time you saw the price of a pint fall by 5c or 10c. Once it goes up, they never bring it back down. That’s what gets me,” he moaned as we stepped inside the front porch.

Apart from the Old Commando, everyone else was in a positive mood and looking forward to a few delicious pints and a bit of a laugh. The Old Commando stopped us in our tracks immediately as he pointed at the pricelist at the front door stating that pints of Guinness were going to cost him €4.35.

Needless to say the pricelist is out of date and needs to be rectified immediately as our Commandos paid €5 each for the creamy pint of stout. This is an ongoing issue that we are encountering on almost a weekly basis and it puzzles us how something so basic cannot be updated by publicans.

The barman on duty, who we think was named Jim, was very welcoming and friendly and he served us without delay. The bar was very busy with some hard core drinkers really enjoying themselves and creating a really enjoyable atmosphere too.

There were some younger customers getting their photograph taken with one elderly customer but we don’t know if he was a celebrity or they just took a shine to him.

“Maybe he’s a former Wicklow footballer,” the Young Commando suggested.

There are at least three TVs in the pub and a dart board also, although nobody was playing during our visit. The black leather barstools were in decent condition and the orange/red floor tiles were swept clean.

The Young Commando was first to break his seal and when he returned he told us he had passed through the area adjacent to the front bar and it is a shrine to Celtic football club.

“God, there’s photos and flags and jerseys and scarves, up on the wall over there,” the Young Commando said.

Lisbon Lions memorabilia is on display as well as some framed Celtic jerseys but a photo from Seville in 2003 brought back some terrific memories for the Young Commando.

“I was there for that UEFA cup final in 2003. I think it was July before I sobered up after it,” he joked.

Most of the customers were more interested in horse racing than Celtic, however, with one particular couple racing in and out of Boyle’s Sports next door every few minutes before dancing and shouting at the screen. It won’t affect the outcome of the race, we were trying to explain.

We really enjoyed our time in ‘The Brook House’ and we couldn’t fault the atmosphere or the service we received from the kind barman. Our only gripe is with the incorrect pricelist at the front door (which is easily rectified).

Rating: Three pints out of Five

One for the road…

Christy’s - Arklow, Co. Wicklow

We were very impressed during our brief visit to Christy’s bar in Arklow, so much so we’ve decided we will be back for a longer and more thorough inspection.

An experienced barman was on duty when we called and he was kept on his toes throughout our stay as he worked in both the bar and the lounge by himself.

The pints of Heineken cost €5.50 and they serve food also. Pints of Coors and Orchard Thieves are available on draught and there was a mixed clientele of differing ages.

The red and wine coloured leather barstools were in good shape and there are at least five large screen TVs. A photo of the 2015 minor football team from Arklow that lifted the Wicklow championship hangs proudly in the corner.

There was a very good atmosphere and the Old Commando carried out an inspection on the toilets. He reported they were clean with six urinals and three cubicles.

Rating: Four pints out of Five

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