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Pub closed to the public for decades

Kilkenny Ireland

Andrew Ryan's pub in Kilkenny was closed for a couple of decades — closed, but operational.

Some friends of mine, locals, were telling me about this one time when we were there.

They were saying that for those years, with the same name above the door — and the same frontage faced upon the street, people would still come and go — but only those who had keys. Old lads, friends of the proprietor. This went on for 20 or 25 years.

This was the old Ireland — the Ireland of the young adulthood of my middle-aged Irish friends.

In order to retain a license to serve, they said, a pub would have to open to the public for something like one day of the year. Licensed, it could remain in operation; it could buy supplies and conduct business.

My friends drank next door, for several years, at a pub that was then called "The Widow's," on location but within a smaller space of what is now "Rafter Dempsey's." It was their "local."

Ryan's has been done up since then, opened for the past decade or so — done up, as M_ described, in the "faux-traditional" manner. Dark wood and all that. (He's told me on another occasion that this kind of decor is not at all a traditional Irish pub outfitting, but is altogether a modern development.)