Monday 19 March 2018

Ireland's Top Pubs: Fletcher's Commercial House, Naas

'It was as if we'd stumbled upon a very odd gem — but a gem all the same.'

The monotony of Kildare's landscape is, sad to say, echoed by the dreariness of many of its pubs.

Forget craft-beers or swanky bar eats:in great swathes of the county, the best you can hope for is a pint o' mass market fizz and over-salted crisps.

We don't mean to offend but, really, it's grim. So it came as a surprise when, stuck for something to do, your correspondent stumbled upon Fletcher's, on Naas' Main Street (where the tumbleweed roams ever since the largest Tesco in the world opened beside the motorway). We felt as if we'd staggered into another world: the bar is long, church-like almost, with a high, beamed ceiling and 19th century-style partitions. Actually, the layout caused some confusion: on a busy Saturday, the front bar and the lounge beyond were heaving, so we pushed on, through a series of interlocking chambers, only to find the last room spookily empty, though fully appointed. Why was nobody sitting here? For reasons that were not obvious, patrons were avoiding it. Shrugging, we shuffled back out and threw ourselves into the throng.

Though it was busy the solitary barman coped excellently with the press of drinkers. An older gent, he took his job seriously, offering to restore the head on our pint after it had mysteriously vanished, then removing the excess foam with a knife. It was like watching a Neapolitan cobbler hard at work.

The colour scheme was curious — a sort of green beige that couldn't quite decide what shade of weird it wished to be.

Overall, there was a feeling of a Masonic lodge about the place: it was as if we'd stumbled upon a very odd gem — but a gem all the same.

Bling Factor: The True Detective of North Kildare pubs.

Toilets: The most ‘normal' place in the entire building.

Service: As attested above, 100 per cent old school

Drinks: Standard, but barman trims the foam on top.


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