Newry is often regarded as ‘The Gateway To The North’. Straddling the county Louth border with the Irish Republic it has bore the brunt of much of what we in Ireland call ‘The Troubles’ being one of the most militarised fortified towns in Western Europe. However, now with peace finally emerging in the north, Newry’s pub scene is thriving. Seán Ó Sirideán highlights five pubs you must visit in Newry before you die.
1. The Railway Bar
The Railway Bar is the first pub you will meet when coming into Newry from south Armagh on the bottom of the Camlough Road. The pub is known throughout Ireland for two things; the Guinness and their Irish traditional music sessions held every Thursday nights. With renowned musicians such as Ruairí Cunnane, Terry Og Conlon & Barry Kerr regular visitors to the session it has become a must-see if visiting the Newry area. Huup!
2. The Phoenix Bar
A relative newcomer to the Newry bar scene The Phoenix has become a favourite spot to hit especially on weekend nights. With live music from artists from all around the north, you’ll always have a great night’s craic here. It is also the only dedicated ‘Sports Bar’ in the Newry area so you’ll always get a bit of sport on whenever you want, just ask the bar staff and they’ll sort you out.
McSwiggan’s is a little gem of a pub. The décor and the atmosphere are very welcoming and enjoyable to be in. They are well known for their Karaoke nights, the singing and the craic is always a night not to be missed. They have a surprisingly wide range of draft beers available with a lot of German favourites available.
This is a long established pub in the city centre. This pub makes our list because of the clientele and the beer. It’s a quintessential ‘working mans pub’ with no frill and no pretentiousness. You get 2 things in Madden’s pub, great beer and great craic. There’s a good mixture of Down and Armagh people that drink in the pub making it a hotbed for friendly banter. You have to have at least one pint in Madden’s if you’re visiting the city of Newry, it’s a must.
Bellini’s makes our list because of their versatility. During the day they are both a nice place to have a few pints but to also get some really fine dining. Their food is very, very well received and more importantly tastes great. At night time during the weekends, the pub transforms into a quasi-nightclub that always delivers a great night’s craic with music from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and the present day. Oh, and their selections of cocktails are simply amazing!