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Pubspy - Wicklow Perfect pints in Ernie’s for great trip to Wicklow town

Wicklow boozer as good as we remembered and pints are keenly priced at €4.60

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Ernie's bar in Wicklow Town is the perfect place for a pint

Ernie's bar in Wicklow Town is the perfect place for a pint

Ernie's bar in Wicklow Town is the perfect place for a pint

Ernie’s bar - Wicklow Town

IT’S been two long years since Pub Spy and the team visited Co Wicklow and when we broke the news to the Old Commando that were destined for Wicklow Town, he insisted on visiting Ernie’s bar in Market Square.

“One of the finest bars in Wicklow,” he said immediately. “Oh Lord I love that pub and the Guinness is stout of this world,” he joked.

While the Old Commando is no stranger to Ernie’s, it was a first time experience for some of our Commandos and as we expected, they weren’t disappointed.

As the Old Boy himself put it, “You just can’t go to Wicklow Town and not visit Ernie’s Bar.”

Our designated driver parked the pub-mobile on Market Street and we walked back towards the square where we encountered a newly revamped exterior to Ernie’s.

There is a vast amount of seating now available outdoors and it would be a lovely place to sit in the July sunshine, but it was far from sunshine when we called as the wind swept through the open Market Square.

There is a one way system now in operation with the exit at the front of the building and the entrance located at the side, and as soon we entered we were immediately drawn to the lovely open fire on the left hand side.

Despite being the end of October, this is the first time we’ve seen the fire lit in the pub since we returned in late August. The winter has duly arrived.

As soon as we took our seats the barmaid was over to take our order and check our Covid passports. The creamy pints of plain arrived shortly afterwards and were keenly priced at €4.60. We think the barmaid’s name was Zoe and we were all in agreement that she was courteous, friendly and good at her job.

There was an all male clientele during our stay and she seemed to have a good rapport with the locals. Nice and cosy in front of the open fire, and with a steady flow of porter, we sat and watched the live football on TV.

In total, we counted at least eight TVs throughout the bar and the Young Commando couldn’t help but have a cheap pop at some of the Manchester United fans there.

“I think Olé should have his licence revoked,” he sneered. “He’s a danger behind the wheel,” he said, trying to provoke a response.

There was a fantastic atmosphere just as we expected and the pub was spick and span. The wine coloured seating throughout the pub was in good condition as were the black coloured floor tiles. There is a bottle of hand sanitiser on each table and two framed rugby jerseys hanging proudly beside the counter. Becks, Coors and both Rockshore lager and cider are available on draught and there is a vast amount of iconic sporting photos to be seen in every corner of the bar.

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We noticed photos of Wicklow’s own Katie Taylor in boxing action in 2008, the iconic Mick O’Dwyer coaching Wicklow in 2007, the great Munster rugby team of the noughties, Niall Quinn on Ireland duty and some of golf and snooker’s greatest legends. There’s something for everyone!

The Young Commando inspected the toilets and reported back to us that they were clean, with four automated urinals and two cubicles, although he did mention that the toilet seat was missing in one of them. It can’t be too expensive to replace?

We really enjoyed our time in Ernie’s bar with the young barmaid and some of the good natured ribbing with the locals. The pints were tops and the surroundings were in excellent condition as expected.

Rating: Four pints out of Five

One for the road

Tá Sé - Wicklow

A completely different type of boozer than its neighbour across the road, but our Old Commando liked it. It’s a step back in time type of pub, not necessarily somewhere you’d bring your wife but definitely somewhere you’d celebrating a good county final win with the lads.

Inside the front door is the snug which you must pass through to get to the long narrow bar area. Unsurprisingly it was an all male clientele with horse racing and premier league football the main attractions. We noticed there is an off-licence in a separate section and the bearded barman was covering all areas.

There was a decent atmosphere and all the customers seemed to be on a first name basis. The gents are located at the end of the counter and it contained one cubicle, two urinals and there was a pleasant odour as it had been recently cleaned.

We only had the one, but we enjoyed ourselves.

Rating: Three pints out of Five

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