This lively venue is an original Irish pub – the proprietor, Conor O’Gílín hails from Dublin. It’s been pulling them in since 1995 and is hugely popular with a predominantly young, fun-loving crowd.
The authentic ambiance is further enlivened by regular live music. Resident pub band Melting Pot takes to the stage on Friday and Saturday nights for toe-tapping sets of traditional Irish folk ditties – drinking songs, ballads and occasional laments. Conor himself sometimes sings, and he’s pretty good with the spoons, too.
On Monday nights punters can bring along their own instruments – guitars, fiddles, accordions etc. – and join improvised jam sessions. Pub quiz nights take place on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month. A single big screen broadcasts live sporting events.
As well as the ubiquitous draught Guinness, O’Gílín’s offers up Kilkenny and Magners, an Irish cider, as well as a range of Portuguese and other European beers. Jamieson, of course, is the spirit of choice.
The menu, chalked up on an old blackboard, lists chicken breast with black pepper, and potato skins stuffed with pineapple and sausage, among other hearty pub grub options. The Irish vegetarian breakfast is intriguing.
Conor also has a hand in Lisbon’s other great Irish pub, Hennessy’s, situated just across the square.
This is a larger place and is well known for its multi- TV screens that lure football and rugby fans on big match occasions. Beer choice is the same, and the food is equally delicious and even a little exotic: try the Thai chicken curry, or the roasted vegetables and goat’s cheese bruschetta with basil pesto.
Both pubs mark St Patrick’s Day, when the life of the Emerald Isle’s patron saint is celebrated in raucous style. This year the revelry takes place on Saturday 17 March.
All images © Paul Bernhardt