Our most innovative pub, bar none
A PINT is no longer enough. Now pubs are offering everything from brown bread to apple tarts, takeaway coffee and newspapers in a bid to woo punters back -- and one establishment that recently expanded has been rewarded with the prestigious title of Best Pub in Ireland.
In a difficult economic climate, when figures show one pub a day is shutting, family-run Gleesons in Booterstown, south Dublin, added a deli, grocery, off-licence and a pool room. The changes won Gleesons the title of Best Pub in Ireland at the sixth Licensing World Bar Awards, run by trade magazine 'Licensing World'.
Pubs are judged on a range of criteria, including customer service, ambience, staff training, hygiene, decor, product range and customer appeal.
The Booterstown premises is run by brothers John and Ciaran Gleeson. "The pub now is not necessarily just a drinking emporium. There is something for everyone," John said. "We needed to diversify and that is what we have done.
"The industry has changed, drink sales have fallen year on year and those sales have to be replaced by bringing new people in."
Other award winners included the Mint Bar at the Westin Hotel on Dublin's College Green, named the country's leading hotel bar.
The Fatted Calf, Glasson, Co Westmeath, won the Failte Ireland Bar Food Award. Ireland's number one tourist bar went to the Locke Bar & Oyster House, Co Limerick, and the Wright Venue in Swords, Co Dublin, was named Ireland's best nightclub.