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Cary, North Carolina
October 26, 2002
It was first estabilished in 1832, and has a distinctive "pubby" feel to it. The great news is that there's plenty of sitting - and you'd only need to stand to get a better view of the musicians. I was surprised at how small the pub was (but in comparison the bar is huge), but it gave it a more cozy feel, really. The coziness makes it a little more smokey - which adds a haze and an atmosphere.
The best part of the pub is how friendly the people are. We met more Americans and other tourists, however, than we did Irish people. We traveled all the way to Ireland and an Irish pub to meet an American, but he was traveling alone and enjoyed our company. We even gave him a lift to the Cliffs of Moher the next day.
I had just driven on a very narrow road, through a very dark countryside and was quite frazzled, not to mention hungry and thirsty. We ordered some pub food, chicken tenders and chips (fries) which were surprisingly very good. Better than some I've had in the States. The beer on tap was Murphy's and Guiness, and it was Murphy's this night for my friend, hot water with lemon and hot chocolate for me (I was feeling a little under the weather.)
This is a pub not to be missed while in Ireland.
From journal Scenic County Clare , Ireland
February 19, 2001
We had explored the Burren all day and eaten dinner in the nearby town of Lahinch, so we didn't get to the pub until around 9PM. No problem, since the sessions usually don't get going till aroung 10pm most nights.
The music is truly improvisational and depends entirely on what musicians show up on a given night. This night featured an accordian player named John, who we were to see a week later in Bunratty, two guitars, a tin whistle and a bodhran drum. The songs are also improvisational, depending greatly on the musicians either knowing the same songs or being talented enough to pick up the rythm and join in--sounds chaotic, but in reality it was tremendous fun. No stage here-folks simply gather round the musicians who are sititng at a central table or on bar stools. For the really courageous, bring your instrument along and join in! The night we were there, an American woman had her guitar and was in the midst of the group strumming along.
From journal expectations exceeded