1. The negligible number of people who have turned on their heel when we have said we do not have Guinness. The roasted, malty flavours of the O’Hara’s stout and balanced sweetness of the Molly's Chocolate Stout are proving hugely popular. It is a nice feeling for all of us, we three that have spent years behind other peoples' bars, pouring pints of beer that we didn't quite believe in, to recommend and serve beer we love.
2. The amount of people who have come in who live locally. Their enthusiasm for what we are doing has raised our flagging spirits on more than one occasion. The first day we were open, a day marked with periods of frustration, fatigue and electricity failure, a woman came in to tell us that her mother had bought tea from Laurence Mulligan himself. She returned a short while later with the original paper bag the tea came in, a brown paper adorned with the strap-line 'A good cup of tea' and which is now safely tucked between the Redbreast 12 year old and Green Spot bottles, soon to be used as a model for our off-sales bags.
3. Ronan from Galway Hooker giving Stephen from Trouble Brewing little tips while they happened to each be installing their taps at the same time. This singular moment reminded us of what is great about the Irish craft brewing community. To quote Claire from Dungarvan Brewing Company ‘A rising tide floats all ships’.
4. ‘Oh, you didn’t change anything!’ Fifteen days, fourteen hours a day, two rolls of black bin bags, three tins of paint, twelve rolls of wallpaper, five packets of sandpaper, ten new shelves, two rolls of upholstery fabric, countless tins of varnish. No, we didn’t change 'anything'. Still, our intention was always to be ‘sympathetic’ to the pub’s décor. And we like to think that we have restored the pub to the way it was and the way it should be.
6. Wasabi nuts.
7. The exciting conversations with customers, chefs and each other about the food menu. We are working round the clock to get the kitchen sorted, as well as the back half of the bar and are really excited about launching our limited menu in the coming week. Our painting, sanding and this week has been punctuated by spontaneous exclamations of 'what about salted caramel?', 'beetroot and coriander might work' and 'the chocolate stout would really compliment that!' That being said, we keep all forgetting to eat, so that is another impetus to get the kitchen open.
8. Discovering Lilliput stores, which sells Ariosa coffee. Keeps us from constantly dashing back to Middle Abbey Street for 3FE coffee.
9. The heady waft of paint stripper as we work to rid the back half of Mulligans of the scourge of red high gloss paint which someone saw fit to liberally splash asunder.If you have been in, you have likely peered around the curtain that separates the front and back bar. It is a gradual, painstaking transformation, but it is happening!
10. Being open.