The pub scene in Cobh has been alive for as long as the town is trading in the sea and it has always been part of life for locals and tourist. Whatever the season, the pub has been a place to dine, drink and socialize and it has always been a welcoming place for anyone.
Pubs in Cobh (and anywhere for that matter) have come and go as years go by. This is very apparent on the recent restrictive effects of the Covid 19 pandemic in Ireland. Among the hospitality sector, pubs suffer one of the most devastating business challenges in the country, as these are closed for a long time. Indoor dining and drinking are only just being introduced and prior to that, outdoor setting is very much running on limited capacity.
As a result, some pubs are not fortunate enough to survive and almost all that are opened are still struggling to recover. The good news though is many people are visiting our town again and that means tourism is giving the pubs a lifeline to bounce back.
The pubs on this post are open in varying capacities, be it indoor, outdoor or take away or all of the above. This list is also subject to change but as of this writing these are currently operating.
Situated in the beautiful corner of Casement Square, the Mauretania has outdoor seating that offers an enviable view of the main street and the Waterfront and even the Cork Harbour. Whether you are getting an Irish coffee or a pint, this pub is right in the heart of town centre to serve you with their friendly staff.
Rustic wooden front gives this pub a very traditional look, but it is more than that. A building standing since mid 19th century, Tarrant’s interior has a modern touch and is as impressive as the exterior, just have a look at sports tv, pool and darts.
A family run Irish pub business, Kellys bar outside terrace makes it an inviting place to dine and drink. Right across the street is the lovely Promenade and the view of Cork Harbour and Spike Island. Get your dose of live music here and a warm welcome of craic from Cobh.
This place has the certain character that you may want to try to experience an old traditional pub. Back in the days, it was an inn and hotel where many Irish immigrants stayed before their departure to the USA. Aside from being a heritage bar, the pub is also a great place to imbibe on traditional Irish music.
A very historic pub in Cobh, Mansworth’s bar is located close to St Colman’s Cathedral and has its many fair shares of after-wedding and christening celebration. One of the oldest (if not the oldest pub) in Cobh, it is already in operation in 1912 when many of the passengers of Titanic had their last drink. Here’s a very good write-up about this pub.
Jack Doyle’s Bar
Jack Doyle’s Bar is named after Cobh’s very own son and Boxing Great. Another pub on the hill, the closest and famous landmark is again St Colman’s Cathedral. Priding itself of possessing “the cosy atmosphere of a small town bar”, it also operates as a restaurant with take away option. *
Update: Jack Doyle has stopped its liquor license.
The Quarry Cock Bar
Quarry Cock Bar looks plain from the outside and is easy to pass by but something about this pub gives this a traditional feel and favorite local hang-out. A short walk from St Colman’s Cathedral and the Bible Garden, this pub is unassuming but worth a visit.
The Roaring Donkey
Last and certainly not to be missed on the list is the hilltop local favourite The Roaring Donkey. Serving pints since the 1880s, this pub is known for its local hospitality and trad music session. It also has a beer garden outside so swing by for good food and drink and a nice craic here.
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3 thoughts on “A Thirst for Craic: A Short Guide to 8 Pubs in Cobh”
Pulled into Cobh with the US Navy back in 2000, remember a roaring good time at the Donkey, Mansworth and a few others. Lovely town, is a part of heart to this day. That’s what we sailors do when we’re on our behavior!