Saturday 23rd August 2014
In some ways I was just a month or two early to drink beer in this restaurant. The situation when I visited was as follows. It is mainly a restaurant and the "& bar" bit of the title seemed, at least on my visit, to be only there to offer a place to have a drink whilst you were waiting for a place in the restaurant which extends over two floors. It is extremely popular and people were waiting quite a long time for a meal.
When I entered I told the "meeter and greeter" lady that I only wanted a beer as it was unique to this place. Luckily this was accepted and I took a place at a high table close to the bar area and admired the elaborate wooden back bar which must have come from an old pub. She explained that the stout was not available, pity! However there was Copper Coast Ale on the keg tap. The beer came from the Elbow Lane Brewery which was, at that time in the process of establishing itself in a nearby street.
She further explained that the owning company was having the beer brewed at a brewery in County Tipperary and putting two and two together I guess this is at White Gypsy. I settled in and tried the beer and I could tell that it was well crafted although it contained a lot of gas that masked some of the taste.
It is planned that between the middle and end of September they will open the Elbow Lane Brewery & Smoke House on the street of the same name which is not far from where I was on this visit. It is intended that there will be a small tasting room on the first floor accommodating around 25 drinkers. Could this be Ireland's first micropub?
The Market Lane restaurant has been going for seven years and it has managed to amass a very loyal following in the city. The menu looks very interesting and is reasonably priced. However I hope that the next time I report from Cork it will be about the new brew pub of the Elbow Lane Brewery.
Market Lane Restaurant & Bar, 5 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork. Tel: 021 427 4710
Open: Monday-Thursday 12.00-late; Friday-Saturday 12.00-22.30; Sunday 13.00-21.00
The pub is in the middle of the city, just a few minutes walk from St Patrick's Street, its main thoroughfare.