You won’t find a better town than this to go on the sesh in, so stop trying.
It makes me angry when I tell people that I’m from the outskirts of this place because 9/10 they will say the exact same thing.
‘Oh, Westport, Matt Molloy’s pub, great pints, great music, great craic’ – end of conversation.
Don’t get me wrong, Matt Molloy’s is something straight out of heaven but it’s one of twenty-odd (maybe even thirty-odd, there’s a lot) fantastic pubs in the town. If you spent your whole night in Matt Molloy’s – and it can and has been done – you’d have a craic-filled night still, but you’d be missing out on so much more.
Stick with me though, and I’ll show you a good time, from one side of ‘The Mall’ as seen in the main image, to the other.
This is why your next drinking session destination should be in the land of the Covies. Sure it’s no wonder all the Stag and Hen parties go west with craic like this.
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Ramble in for a pint of stout and sure you’d never know who be hanging about. One of the best comedians in the business, pictured beside one of the greatest footballers in the business.
Matt Molloy’s is home to the famous musician of the same name and as you can only imagine, the trad sessions in there are out of this world. It looks small from the outside but this pub has layers upon layers and whether it’s a Bank Holiday Sunday or a normal Tuesday in October, the place is always packed.
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Buttt, you know enough about Molloy’s already we’re sure so we’ll move on.
The Clock Tavern is at the top of the town and you can’t miss it… because it’s right beside a massive clock. It’s also situated near ‘Blue Thunder’ but more on that later.
I’ve been on both sides of the bar in here and the atmosphere is electric whether you’re sipping or serving. It describes itself as ‘Westport’s Best Music Venue’ and we won’t argue with that, but we highly recommend you judge it for yourself.
It’s always wedged in here. You might not find a seat but you’ll find just the starting spot to get you going for the rest of your night.
And when it’s sunny, they stick a marquee out the front and have live outdoor music too, which attracts big crowds as you could imagine.
You’re actually spoiled for choice once you leave the clock. You can turn left and head for ‘The Octagon’ which is home to a host of memorable pubs in the town. Hoban’s is like a smaller version of Molloy’s while ‘The Big Tree’ is the town’s secret weapon.
Located off the beaten track, away from the nightclub and late bars. ‘The Big Tree’ with its open fire and great live music is a place that’s very hard to leave once you enter the door.
Fun fact: Hoban’s was where I went for my first ever Good Friday pint. If you’re extremely lucky, you’ll even come across Westport’s famous Elvis Impersonator as seen in the picture below.
His name is ‘Soh-Soh’ (or its pronounced like that anyway). He’s easily spotted, he’s the one who will be telling everyone how ‘shook up’ he is.
You’re blessed amongst pubs around ‘The Octagon’ with 6 or 7 pubs in the vicinity, each as good as the last.
Or you could come out of the clock and head to the right and get the real ‘Covie’ experience by tipping into Toby’s. Located in between the train station and the top of the town, Toby’s is Westport’s renowned locals-local pub.
WARNING: If you’re not from the area, you will get looked at and examined and people will ask whoever is in their company ‘do you know him/her?’. But once you get the ‘Covie Vetting’, you’ll hear some great stories in here about Westport’s famous sporting stories and all the gossip and folklore that surrounds the town.
And, it’s no wonder it’s where you hear all the news. After all it is neighbours with The Mayo News who for over 125 years have been providing the county with the latest and best in all things news and sport.
Honestly though, don’t feel bad if you get whispered about on arrival, I’m from ten minutes out the road and I still get the same treatment whenever I enter.
But if you’re really looking for a good night, you’ll come out of The Clock Tavern and head straight on and your next port of call will be either Henehan’s, O’Malley’s or Cosy Joe’s.
Henehan’s Late Bar is the main competition to the town’s only nightclub. You can dance the night away in here with its different music rooms and it also has a massive smoking area if you want to nip out for a quick ciggie, or if you’re just roasting from all the booge-ing.
There’s only one problem with O’Malley’s and it’s probably a back handed compliment. No matter where you stand in the place, you’re always going to be in someone’s way. It’s the signs of a buzzing pub, however, when people are constantly being moved about the place in order to pass them by.
It’s also a cracking place for a bit of grub too.
Cosy Joe’s is another live music venue worth its keep in the town. It has three floors and each will be as busy as the last. It’s easily spotted. One-Two bouncers will be outside the door in red jackets faced with a line of people looking to get in.
If you do manage to find yourself inside, don’t limit yourself to the three floors, try and grab a spot in the outdoor area.
Matt Molloy’s may be the kingpin of this street but it’s also worth checking out ‘The Porter House’ and ‘MacBride’s’ too.
Now, you’re into the business end of things. If you’re heading out in Westport, you’re going to ‘The Castle’, no arguments. But, before you go into the nightclub there is one thing that you must do.
There’s an unspoken rule in the town that one cannot simply go into the nightclub without having at least one drink in ‘T. Bourke’s’ or what is now known as ‘Danny’s’.
Once you make the hop over the bridge at the mall, Danny’s Bar is just on the left hand-side, just passed a chip shop.
Like a horse galloping into the final hurdle, this pub is the make or break point. If you have a shit time in here, or you’re feeling sick or you’re just not feeling it at all then you’re as well to just call it a day. It’ll get busy at around 10ish and remain like that until half 11/12.
You’ll stay for an hour or 2/3 drinks, whichever comes first and at that moment, you’ll have just kicked the night into gear setting you up perfectly for the nightclub.
Another place dedicated to giving their members good live music, there’s also a massive outdoor area with a bar and DJ set that you’ll be able to move freely through.
Fully complete with a pool table and benches, this area is probably the best place to aim for when you get in the door.
It’s not the be-all-and-end-all of Westport but experiencing ‘The Castle’ nightclub is a must in my eyes. It has three different dance floors which caters to every music boppers’ needs.
The main floor plays current hits that you’ll have heard in the Top 40 during the week while the Live Lounge does what it says on the tin.
You’ll try your hardest not to, but you’ll end up walking up the stairs and rewinding back a decade, or two or maybe even four. The upstairs dancefloor in The Castle has your ultimate wedding disco playlist.
One minute you’ll be roaring in your friends’ ear asking them ‘how am I supposed to leave you, when you’re looking like that?’, the next minute you’ll be on the floor with them trying to ‘Rock The Boat’ or rolling on a river with ‘Proud Mary’.
There’s an ice cream van in the smoking area but don’t be fooled, it only sells drink which is ideal for when you’re having too much fun outside but need to fill up the tank again.
But not so nice when you see it and start craving an ice-cream…
Regardless of which floor you go to, your night will be complete in here.
Revamped in 2015, ‘C2’ has come a long, long way and was made for tourists to come and visit it.
It closes at 2:30am, sharp. No ‘one more tunes’, no ‘can I’ve a quick one’. No, national anthem comes on and so does the lights. Out you go.
You’ll probably be feeling a bit peckish after that and rightly so. Well, lucky for you, Westport’s three late night chip shops are just the slobber you need when your belly is full of booze.
‘Pizza Pizza‘ is located directly across the road from ‘The Castle’ and as you could imagine, their pizzas are pretty popular amongst punters. ‘West Kebabs’ is just below Danny’s Bar and extremely handy as it’s just a stone’s throw away from the The Castle.
But, the real fun is in ‘Blue Thunder’ which is located beside The Clock. This is the place where a sing-song is most likely to break out and if you can withstand the queues, you might just get some grub too. However, if you’re looking for some fast food chips before half 11, Danolla’s is the place to go. They have the best chips west of the Shannon and they were voted best takeaway in Connacht for 2017. Fact.
There you have it. A full guide to going on the beer in Westport. You’re going to have one of your best nights out down here, we promise you.
And if you’re looking for things to do while in Westport (other than drinking), it’s well worth having a look at this also.