One of the most iconic pubs in the whole of North Louth has to be the Bay View Tavern in Omeath. Better known as Howe’s the bar and lounge has been trading since the mid 1860s and is an integral part of the Omeath community.
Nestling at the base of Slieve Foy mountain the pub was built by William Howe and son Jack back in the mid 1860s and originally serviced the community as both a shop and pub. Father and son ran a very successful business from then until 1994 when Jack passed away. He left the premises to two workers Art McDonald and John Fearon who had been employed there for many years. The two men continued the pub’s success all the way until 1997 when they sold it on to Eugene McQuillan who continued the tradition until 2002.
He had heard that his cousin Denis Larkin was interested in buying the business; however he was busy in America where he ran his own construction company. The deal was done and Dennis’ brother Colm Larkin and family friend Ricky McVeigh took over the running of the place until Denis eventually sold up in the States and moved home in 2006. Already an integral part of the workforce, Ricky remained on and is still a driving force behind the bar until this very day.
Although the business had a wide and varied selection of grocery products, it was the bar part of the premises that proved most popular and profitable and over the years the shop gradually disappeared only to be replaced by an off licence.
One of the stores at the rear of the premises was used as a bottling plant for the bar and remained so until 1998 when Eugene McQuillan renovated it into another spacious lounge to help with the crowds enjoying the atmosphere in Howe’s. Although it is still in existence, it is now used for special functions whenever necessary.
But the one aspect of the pub that helps it to stand out from all its adversaries is its traditional look and feel. Since it came into existence 160 years ago, structurally very little has changed. It was given a renovation in the 1930s when it was updated, but still held onto its old world charm. The bar remains in the same location; the adjacent lounge has only had an old style ceiling replaced by Denis 15 years ago, all to keep the look of the business as authentic as they possibly can. The secondary smaller lounge, originally to facilitate female drinkers has now given way to a dart room for the pub.