Category Archives: Pubs

The worst pub in Cork

Yesterday was a tough day.  My 20 year old cat, Clawdia, has been on steep downward slide for the last week.  We went to the vet yesterday afternoon and decided it was time to let her go.  Here is a picture of her owning the couch back in Corvallis.


Clawdia was named by parents because of her ninja-like ability to claw through even tough materials, like leather, with a single swat…  although that same ability also led to her transformation to de-clawdia.  She has been with me for the past 17 years.  She moved with me eight times! So we criss-crossed the US a few times and she recently made it all the way to Ireland at 19.5 years old.  She has been a wonderful companion (to me, she didn’t really like many other people until she was too old to care).  Here are some pictures from the life and times of the Queen Bee:

Old school…  back in the days before wayne.


Just after her giant mass, affectionately named Patricia, was removed.


hanging with Bret.


Practicing yoga.


Her ritual, window-mediated chat with our chicken, Steve Holt.


Helping me finish the edits to my dissertation.


Pretending she doesn’t like chubchub.


I’ve been going through all my pictures looking for this one picture that I know I have of her.  It was taken early in the morning in my dining room in Corvallis.  The light coming through the window was rosy and perfect and she is totally relaxed taking in the sunshine on the white carpet.  I can almost hear her broken purr motor going just thinking about the picture.  It is just the way I like to think of her… but I can’t find the picture anywhere.  The same thing happened to me shortly after Wayno died.  I took this stupid online quiz about what kind of animal my soul mate was.  I got ” a dog wearing sunglasses.”  I remembered I had a picture of Wayne looking ridiculous with sunglasses on. I searched high and low for this picture,  but I only just found it today.


I am sure the picture of Clawdia will come back to me just when I need it.  Maybe people who read this can send a good thought her way today.  She probably doesn’t deserve it from many of you, but do it for me anyway.  Thanks.

So….   Long story short, I was in a tough place last night when we left the vet at 6:30.  We were walking home and we decided to stop at a pub for a pint.  As it so happens (actually all the time), there was a pub right in front of us, the Harp.  Bret had previously spotted the Harp because it is right on his daily commute.  At some point we googled it and found a review that described it as “the worst pub in Cork,” so that is actually how we have referred to it every time it has come up on the radar as a possible destination for the last five months.  On a night like last night, the worst pub in Cork sounded like a fine destination.


At first The Harp seemed a little lack-luster.  Two big rooms, a lounge and a bar with a pool table.  Lots of TVs, nothing special.  Bret got us a round of Beamish and we sat at a table.  Then, we made a new friend, Terry.  He must have pegged us as newcomers, so he introduced himself.  He asked us our name several times and got a serious hoot out of the fact we were trying to visit 52 pubs while in Cork.  He tried to entice Bret into a game of pool, but realized he had to leave.  It took him several attempts to actually leave.  He came back once to deliver us a round of fruity, rum drinks in beer mugs that he had purchased for us.  Yeah, I know… totally random.  Maybe he thought we needed drinks that matched the pink of my bloodshot eyes.


Then he came back to let us know that it was a beautiful night and we should go to the back of the pub where we could smoke fags (first time we’d heard that expression here) and enjoy the outdoors.  I thought maybe there was an outdoor “garden” which lots of pubs have.  They are generally just outdoor smoking areas with tables and sometimes some shelter from the rain.  Although, I came to the conclusion that Terry was really just talking about a parking lot. He gave up on the idea though when we told him we didn’t smoke.  Then he came back and shook our hands one more time and asked us our names.  Then he really left.  It actually isn’t the worst pub in Cork.  Every pub has its place.


The Sportsmans Arms


I was a little skeptical of this pub, but Bret wanted to try it out, so we went to watch the Monday night football game (Man City vs Chelsea) and have a pint.  It is a pretty sizable pub, so we walked in fairly unnoticed and grabbed a corner seat with a good view of the game.  The crowd here is still a bit older than us, but fairly young.  There was a large crowd in the back of the bar playing cards.  The first half of the game was fairly uneventful… but some new folks arrived for the second half that spiced things up.  They clearly had some from another pub and were very interested in the game.  There was a lot of swearing, a lot of yelling at the guys who was swearing (telling him to stop swearing), and a lot of apologizing for the swearing (not from the guy who was swearing).  Apparently, I have innocent ears.  Bret and I just grinned and nodded and kept watching the game.

I would have given the Sportsman’s Arms a fairly low review for being a bit boring if we had left after the first half, but I thoroughly enjoyed the people watching (and hearing, I guess) in the second half.  I would definitely go back to this one for big games…  although I would want to get there early to get a good seat.




I love this pub.  Bret and I had it on our list of places to go to from our first stroll around the neighborhood of Marguerita Villas (the street we live on).  We first popped in on a rainy evening hoping that they served some food.  It was a bit intimidating because all seven or eight of the bar patrons turned around and stared at us like we were aliens.  I had a feeling maybe ladies were not super welcome, but as soon as we asked the bartender about food, they all got real friendly.  Sadly, they do not serve food, but they all had suggestion about where we might go instead.  Bret was keen to stay and have a pint anyway.  I was, however, on the verge of the hangries, so for the sake of everyone involved, I insisted we go eat some food instead (ended up with take-away fish and chips).

We finally made it back there a few weeks later…  I know it sounds like a long time, but there are sooooooo many pubs to try out (including at least 6 between our house and Moks).  Again, walking through the door was a bit intimidating, but we found a nice corner, next to the fire place where we could drink a pint of Beamish and watch some football (Man City vs Tottenham?).

The pub had an amazingly large adorable old man: Emily ratio.  Although they seemed to be rooting for Man City, they didn’t seem to be paying much attention to the game.  Just arguing a bit about bad or good calls and cheering at goals.  There were a couple of younger guys there that seemed quite a bit more interested in the game and left as soon as it was over.  Eventually, a couple of adorable old ladies joined us near the fire with half pints.

We loved this place.  It is definitely a good place to go on a rainy, cool night for a quiet pint near the fire or to watch some football in relative peace.  Although, Bret is sure it will be a zoo for any big game (like a Six Nations Rugby game).  I am sure we’ll be back.