independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

'Best bar in world' and favourite with the stars is sold

Former proprietor Paul O’Toole Senior (left) wishes the best of luck to Joe Duggan, the new owner of the Harbour Bar in Bray, Co Wicklow

THE Irish pub voted by the 'Lonely Planet' travel guide as 'The Best Bar in the World' has been sold after 82 years in the same family.

Immortalised in James Joyce's 'Finnegan's Wake', the iconic Harbour Bar in Bray, Co Wicklow, is famous for its glittering clientele.

Opened in 1871, it has been bought by Joe Duggan (84), a neighbour of the O'Toole family, who have owned the pub since 1931.

Located near Ardmore Studios, it has been frequented by film stars such as Katherine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole and Liam Neeson, as well as director Neil Jordan.

Famous musicians including Bono, Shane MacGowan, The Dubliners and Christy Moore have all regularly visited the pub.

"We are delighted that the O'Tooles have sold the Harbour Bar to us," said Mr Duggan. "We understand we're not just buying a business but an institution."

The pub has passed through the hands of three generations of the O'Toole family. According to Paul O'Toole Snr: "We couldn't ask for better buyers than the Duggans."

Irish Independent

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