The Grove

the grove pub in AthloneThe Grove is another one of those off-the-beaten track pubs that most visitors miss.

With portraits of James Dean and the western frontier on the walls, this is a pub decorated during the era when Ireland held the idea of the states – its idea, its songs and its music – in reverence. In the style of vintage pubs in Ireland, the Grove has both a bar and a Lounge section. You enter the front door and take a right to enter the bar or a left to enter the lounge. This division served in the past to divide the social centres of the pub in Irish life. Nowadays it’s hardly done. In fact, I’d say it’s safe to say there’s not a single modern pub that does it.

In any case, the bar section is what you’d expect with an aging decor and a television. The lounge (pictured above) is more open with a dance floor, rounded bar and a significant amount of extra room for patrons. Music is played here with some frequency and the pints are decent. When the place is hoppin, you can just up and dance a jig, giving a knowing wink to the portraits of James Dean.