One year ago, we told you, ‘Back west.. There is more happening than you think ‘when we were letting the world know that we were the place to be after dark. With 14 Bars, 20 Restaurants and 5 Late Night venues, the west was truly awake when the sun went down.
Fast forward to March 2020 and the world changed forever. These words slipped into our conversations… Lockdown. Social Distance, Wear a Face Mask. The business world has had to close, open, close then reopen and completely adapt. Back west businesses are not just a business, they are the heartbeat of the place. Every business is independently owned and the owners are in there, day in, day out. They have kept their doors open, they have made additions to how you can shop and support them, they have adapted and they have provided a sense of normality and a sense of community when every single person who was within the area needed it.
Now we are looking at Christmas and how we can all really shop local, support local businesses and make whatever this Christmas will be truly one that we all get a sense of place, a sense of home and a sense of connection. You will feel no greater connection than when you cross the bridge into Galways westend.
From Dominick Street Lower at the Bridge Mills you are greeted with Arabica Coffee Shop serving freshly baked treats, sambos and of course coffee and tea. The award-winning Tartare has kept its doors open from takeaway cakes, coffee, amazing sandwiches on their freshly baked sourdough and they are selling an extensive wine list too. Across the Street the team at Botown burgers never stopped operating and even started a campaign to encourage people to Run for A Bun, another inventive way of connecting to their customers by encouraging a 5km and of course to celebrate with their homemade gourmet burgers or those Cauliflower wings. Two doors down is Handsome Burger who were named the Best Burger in Ireland in 2019, they have adapted their business by creating the Handsome at Home burger box which is delivered nationwide, and their call and collect takeaway service means that everyone in Galway can enjoy what they do best, Burgers.
Handsome Burger, Galway
Pizza is available from Apache throughout the week and An Tobar Nua world famous cookies and in-house cakes are being served daily. Do not miss these! On Ravens Terrace, the team at McGuires have not stopped since March, big smiles and always in good form, you can get just about anything in this award-winning corner shop. Gourmet Tart which is home to one of the best views in Galway looking out onto the Claddagh, has their fresh bakes from early morning, lunch and dinner takeaway at home options and all those hamper ideas too, making Ravens Terrace the ideal meeting spot for an outdoor SD Coffee of course. On the way to Upper Dominick Street Ireland West Cycles is on hand to sort all bikes out, the soundest lads there will always help and ensure your bike is in shape for whatever elements we might encounter on the adventurous cycles around Galway.
Oscars Seafood Restaurant
The Best Chips in Galway are at Vinnies… if you haven’t tried them. Today is the Day. Then its onto Oscars Seafood Restaurant who are cooking that fish so well for everyone to enjoy at home. Up on Henry Street Vegetarian and Vegan eatery Greens and Co ensure that all the plant-based lovers are getting their fill with their extensive full takeaway menu. But for the flexitarians…. The ones that eat it all, its straight to 65 Henry Street for the best fish and chips, chowder, Fish Tacos at Hooked or get it even fresher in Alis Fish Market and enjoy the best of locally, sustainably and in season catch.
Farraghers, Dr Claire Apothecary and Ernies in Galway Westend
Down through The Small Crane, where Collerans will help with all your key cutting needs, The Small Crane Clinic and Dr Claire Apothecary who are celebrating 21 years in business will help with all your health and wellbeing. Sea Road is really all about the main men Mike Farragher and Ernie Deacy, two gentlemen and these two shops have been ensuring the west is fully fed, has the papers or the firelighters! They are the hub of where the news is for the area. Ernie always says when people ask “Have you any butter?” “No, you will get that over at Farraghers” that’s the style of it. Getting; The Messages’ in all the different spots, so that all this charm and identity and sense of unique place can remain.
The Universal, Galway Westend.
William Street West has adapted itself into a little Bodega really, with The Universal starting a sambo revolution all on their own. Tuesday to Saturday they have made a reason for people to come west and grab one of the tasty creations of 2020. Right next-door Urban Grinds coffee, daily specials and cakes is reason alone to get up each day. If its more tea you are into The Secret Garden take away options and raw vegan treats mean that people are sipping and smiling from early afternoon to evening. The Blue Note is never one to simply be… and now we have The Blue Note Hatch where you can get the best in IPAs, a little wine and those Growlers filled, they have just transformed their exterior into a winter wonderland of lights, with a few tunes and Aidan or Mal on the window, it’s the bestend buzz that just keeps on giving. The iconic Silkes Cash and Carry or flowers, pots and plants from Daisy Bowl as well as Mona Lisa Italian are other stars of the westend that have remained open throughout this year.
The Massimo, Daisy Bowl florist, The Blue Note and The Secret Garden in The Westend.
So, think before you shop. Think about why you love where you eat, where you live and why its special. It’s the people there. People and relationships along with great food and drinks, along with great service along with the “Well Howya Now” Without its just a building. Its just a transaction. Life is about more than that, life is about connection.
Spend Locally. Spend in Galway. See you all back west.