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Pubspy - Newbridge No bridge over troubled water as McDonnell’s in Newbridge hits the right spot

One of our colleagues is always boasting of the terrific bar scene in Newbridge so we told him we’d meet him for a few and check out what it had to offer

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McDonnell's in Newbridge was enjoying a roaring trade

McDonnell's in Newbridge was enjoying a roaring trade

McDonnell's in Newbridge was enjoying a roaring trade

McDonnell’s - Newbridge

A trip to Newbridge is always a lively affair to say the least. Whether it’s a journey that takes us to St Conleth’s Park or the nearby drinking establishments, we rarely have a bad time.

Very few GAA fans follow their team as passionately and with as much unwavering loyalty as the Lilywhites’ fans do, something the Old Commando takes great pleasure in jeering them over.

“God love them, their centenary is creeping in,” he said in reference to their last senior football All-Ireland success in 1928.

“I’ll have to stay 2m away from everyone, obviously, but I’ll still do my best to rile someone up, there’s always one fan that bites,” he joked, as we arrived in Newbridge town.

One of our colleagues is always boasting of the terrific bar scene in Newbridge so we told him we’d meet him for a few and check out what it had to offer. As always, it was extremely difficult to get parking in the area but after much persistence, our designated driver found a spot on Eyre Street, a five minute walk from McDonnell’s pub.

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A close up of a pint of Guinness and a face mask (PA)

A close up of a pint of Guinness and a face mask (PA)

A close up of a pint of Guinness and a face mask (PA)

We were blown away when we stepped inside the front door as this is the first time we’ve seen a pub enjoying a roaring trade in a very long time. It is quite a spacious bar which allows for a vast amount of seating and customers, but it was the beer garden at the rear of the pub that is the most eye catching feature.

It is among the best beer gardens we’ve seen and we’re sure it’ll prove just as popular once Tony’s restrictions begin to ease and more customers are allowed to dine indoors.

A young waitress checked us in at the front door and informed us we were extremely lucky to call when we did, as we had just secured the last table available, although it would be required back from us at a later time due to a reservation.

All rules and regulations were being implemented and followed to the letter of the law, and it was fantastic just to see people enjoying themselves.

The waitress took our order and despite the temptations to sample some of the fine cocktails on special offer, we resisted, and stuck with Guinness.

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Long Island Iced Tea at €11, Pornstar Martini at €10 or a Sex on the Beach at €9.50 are no match for the Old Commando’s love for creamy pints of stout and they cost a lot less at €4.90.

Some of our Commandos had been to McDonnell’s pub in 2012 and curiosity got the better of yours truly when we went back to HQ to check the price of the pint on that occasion. It was just €3.80.

There are at least four TVs in the bar and a projection screen, and there was a great buzz as the locals watched the horse racing and football. There is a bottle of hand sanitiser on each table and the brown leather bench seating was in good condition.

There is a dartboard at the end of the pub but it wasn’t in use and we’re not even sure if you’re allowed play darts in the pub these days, but probably not if you’re confined to a table.

Moorefield GAA photos hang proudly on the walls and it’s no wonder given their success over the years —it’s a club with a proud tradition.

With three rounds of porter consumed we were tight for time and we had to bid farewell to this wonderful boozer in the heart of Newbridge town.

Hopefully it won’t take us nine years to call again.

Rating: Four pints out of Five

One for the Road

The Railway Bar, Newbridge

THE young dark haired barmaid in The Railway Bar reminded us of exactly why we’ve missed the Irish pub over the last 18 months.

She was friendly, welcoming, courteous, plenty of chit chat and an all round good character. You can have the finest public house in the country but if you don’t have the right staff you may as well leave the door locked. That’s always been our motto and we’re sticking to it.

There was an all male clientele during our visit and a decent atmosphere too. We counted at least six TVs and two large projection screens, one in the bar and one in the lounge.

A section just inside the front door is known as ‘The Kop End’ and there are multiple Liverpool scarves and flags on display. Framed Celtic and Ireland rugby jerseys are also on show and the toilets were clean.

Our stay was brief but enjoyable, with special praise reserved for the barmaid.

Rating: Three pints out of Five

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