Michael and Annemarie Coyne took over the running of the family pub, Tigh Chadhain, in 2000, but the family history with the bar – built in the early 1840’s – goes right back to 1892, when Mr Coyne’s great-grandparents took over the building and set up a bar and grocery store. Mr Coyne has described the location of the bar as ‘like Hidden Ireland’. and it really has an extraordinary location, in an extraordinarily beautiful part of the Wild Atlantic Way.
But Coyne’s is more than just a lively, likeable pub with good cooking, although it is both of those things. Mr Coyne is an expert in the local Connemara culture, and a lecturer in Irish culture and heritage studies. He is acutely aware of the issues which places such as Kilkieran face – declining local population; young people moving to the cities. But, with Annmarie at the stoves, Coyne’s is fighting back against the challenges, and the first step in doing that is to lure people off the beaten track with delicious cooking. You would walk to Coyne’s just to have their benchmark classic chowder with perfect, sweet brown bread; or the mussels in white wine sauce; or the classy pan-fried sea trout. If the cooking brings you in, there is much more that will make you stay: there are music sessions at the weekends, sean nos singing, along with dancing, which is what you will feel like doing after a few glasses of the fine Independent Brewery craft beers, from nearby Carraroe. Coyne’s is an aleph of the West of Ireland, and the Wild Atlantic Way: alive and kicking; up for the chllenge; a delicious slice of living heritage.
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