WHEN Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Mississippi in January 1935, it’s safe to say nobody could have predicted the impact he would make on the world.
It’s definitely safe to say that nobody could have predicted a pub in Roscommon town in the west of Ireland would name their business after him, but that seems to be the case.
Pub Spy and his team of Crack Commandos travelled to Connacht for the first time since the pandemic started in Ireland in March 2020 and, having walked the length and breadth of the Main and Castle Street, we finally came across The Jailhouse pub.
It looked familiar to the Old Commando but at the same time he couldn’t recall ever visiting a pub of that name.
Two circular signs either side of the nameplate stated “Everybody let’s rock” so we had begun to piece together the Elvis themes and once we got inside and seated, we noticed an Elvis Presley clock behind the bar as well as an Elvis number plate and some photos of him too.
They’re Elvis mad in this boozer and who could blame them — he is the undisputed King of rock ’n’ roll.
The Old Commando is a huge Elvis fan but that wasn’t the first thing on his mind. He recognised his surroundings but was adamant he didn’t remember the name The Jailhouse.
“Give me a few minutes and a few pints, it’ll come to me. I’ve been here before,” he told us. “But there was a different name on the place back then,” he added.
While the Old Commando racked his brain, the barman on duty was taking our order and carrying out the new formalities of checking Covid certificates.
He was ably assisted by a blonde barmaid named Ciara and we couldn’t speak highly enough of both of them. They were extremely friendly and shared a great rapport with the locals.
The creamy pints of stout cost €4.50 and they were well received by all our troops.
“Sawdust!” the Old Commando shouted out in a random outburst. “There was sawdust on the floor the night I was here. The place was covered in sawdust, for whatever reason I couldn’t tell you.
“It was around nine or ten years ago now. Give me another few minutes and I’ll think of the name of the place,” he continued.
“I think he’s had his quota,” one of our Commandos said.
There was a mixed clientele in the bar and the majority of the clientele were sixty and over. There was a decent atmosphere and the jukebox was playing softly in the background.
Music equipment was set up on the small stage just inside the front door and it’s great to have it back in the pubs again. We counted at least three TVs but nobody seemed to be paying much attention to them as the locals were all engaging in friendly banter and conversations.
The Christmas decorations were on display and they add greatly to the cosy feel in this pub. There is plenty of seating throughout the bar and the timber flooring was swept clean — not a trace of sawdust to be found.
“P Kelly’s pub,” the Old Commando shouted. “That was the name of it. Jaysus, that took longer than I expected.
“It was Cattigan’s pub since then,” one customer told him.
There is an outdoor seating area at the rear of the pub with plenty of seating, the toilets are quite small with one cubicle and three urinals while the electric dryer was in good working order.
We really enjoyed our trip to this Elvis tribute pub and we’ll be back.
Rating: Four pints out of Five
One for the road
James J Harlow – Roscommon Town
ONE of the Old Commando’s favourite boozers west of the Shannon, he has always had a soft spot for James J Harlow’s pub in Roscommon town.
We love the cosy front bar in this old style saloon and it was the most relaxed we’d felt in months as we sat in front of the roaring open fire.
There are at least five TVs in the pub but the sound was low enough for us to hear the fire crackling as we sipped away on our creamy pints of stout.
The barman was friendly and checked for proof of vaccination. The black leather barstools were very comfortable and the timber flooring was very clean.
As the Old Commando said, if he was a local this is exactly the type of place he’d spend his Sunday lunchtime, and afternoon, and probably evening too. He loves it, we all love it.
Rating: Four pints out of Five