Eyre Square has undergone a metamorphosis in recent times. Before where dining options were few and far between, now there is an embarrassment of riches. At the station-end visit Jungle Cafe to sample some excellent Badger and Dodo coffee, the Gaslight at the Meyrick is always a pleasure, or An Pucán, always the craic. At the opposite end of the Square we have Cafe Express with stuffed sandwiches and thick crust pizzas, and Eyre Street Steakhouse for possibly the best wings in Galway. Poppyseed and many other dependable cafes have sprung up around Eyre Street providing all sorts of diverse lunch and dinner menus and light snacks. Elsewhere around the Square, Petit Pois does casual French bistro with charm and you can even have a Michelin Star experience in the area by popping into Loam.
McGettigan’s pub in Galway is located on Prospect Hill, just off Eyre Square and within a short stroll of the bustling Shop Street area and many of the city’s most popular hotels and attractions. You have to be of a certain age to remember the history of this building. Anyone who remembers it as The Bentley many years ago will know that food was not high on the agenda. The space then became the site of the late, lamented, Cuba, before becoming, um, The Bentley again… for a very brief time.
Despite the massive shamrock on the front of the building this is not an Irish pub in the traditional sense. You will find no leprechauns and shillelaghs here, it is based more on the American sports bar business model. You are never very far away from a big screen. The interior is slick and polished with natural wood, luxurious leather, gleaming copper ceilings, and a well lit bar. The best Irish pubs have affiliations with literary figures, McGettigan’s seems to give a nod to that with a library lining a wall in most of its venues. There are of course the open fires and warm welcomes from well drilled staff.
McGettigan’s Pub first opened in Ireland in the 1960s, on Queen Street in Dublin by Jim McGettigan. Since then, the business has grown from Dublin, moved to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, back to Donegal, Limerick, and Galway with further locations in Singapore and New York. The menu includes classic dishes such as Irish stew, beer battered fish and chips, the ‘full Irish’ breakfast, and signature McGettigan’s favourites such as the Buffalo hot wings, Atlantic salmon, and beef and Guinness puff pastry pie.
The man behind the food is Sligo-born executive head chef, Derek Flynn. Chef Flynn has years of experience under his belt having worked in kitchens in various cities across the globe. He has been with the McGettigan’s Group since its inception in Dubai in 2010. He travels to each new venue to set up the kitchen and handpick and train the new team. This ensures the same quality of food is experienced by the customers at every venue.
They say they are committed to using only the finest quality ingredients, try to source the majority of their fruit and vegetables locally, and believe in sourcing all their meat and fish from local suppliers.
If you care about what you imbibe and want to sample a broad range of brewed delights then this is the place to do it in. If you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere and you consider yourself somewhat of a beer and cocktail aficionado then look no further. This bar serves a wide range of cocktails, lagers, and whiskeys, showcasing an impressive selection from Ireland and the rest of the world. Whether you prefer draught or bottle there will be something to cater for your needs as well as a lively buzz come Saturday night.
The Irish pub is the definition of community spirit, history, and tradition and Galway pubs especially are full of character and fun. We have no shortage of places to drink a pint. Yes, McGettigan’s is a chain but that does not mean it has not got its own unique character. For those looking for atmosphere, maybe some sport or live music, and some excellent pub grub, this is the place for you. McGettigan’s joins the ranks of excellent watering holes on Eyre Square with a quality, well priced, food offering to sweeten the deal.
McGettigan's, 9-11 Prospect Hill, Eyre Square, Galway. Phone (091 ) 331 010. E-mail [email protected].