JOHN LONGS BAR IS AN OLD COUNTRY PUB LOCATED JUST FIVE MINUTES OUTSIDE CARLINGFORD.
John Longs Bar a beer garden at the back with fantastic view of the Carlingford Mountains. The front bar has kept its old style feel with a big open fire but with a pool table and Sky TV for the sports fans. If it’s a quiet drink your after then Longs bar is a great place to just sit back and enjoy.
John longs Bar was first opened in 1757. The proprietor John long was the first man in the family to build and open the bar. Over the years the business was passed down through four generations of family’s. In 1996 the original building was burnt to the ground when the thatched roof caught fire from hot ash blowing from a near bonfire. The remaining shell was knocked down and the current owner who is also named John long rebuilt the building over four years and the pub was reopened in 2001. The roof was thatched again and the original sign that was over the door was restored and placed back over the door.
Now John Longs Bar is a traditional Irish pub from the front with a warm and homely feel with live music through the summer. The rear section of the building (lounge) is currently a disco bar which has a live DJ and drink promotions every second week. The main feature of the bar inside is the massive open fire that occupies a full wall. The stone that was used to hand build the fireplace was the remaining stone that was left after demolishing the old building. It also has two beautiful hand crafted features with a railway sleeper as a mantle.
Recognised as one of the oldest two storey thatched pubs in the country, it has been at the heart of the Long family since its inception and in its early years acted as a grocery shop, general store and bar that helped to service the locals in the area.
Originally opened by John Long, his namesake John, currently owns the premises although for the last seven years the business has been leased out to Karen Wright who has traded successfully since she took over back in 2014.
The popular bar started life as a rather unique two storey building with a thatch roof. The ground floor was dedicated to the grocery and bar with living accommodation taking care of the first floor. There was a bottling area in the basement where vats of Guinness were brought by horse and cart from Dublin. This tradition continued all the way to the 1960s when John’s father George married Margaret (McGee from Muchgrange) and first moved to a house in the locality before permanently moving to Carlingford with his eleven children.
George was one of seven children, his parents were John and Lizzy (Fearon from Crossalaney) who had run the bar until his untimely demise in his mid 50s. After John passed away, his wife Lizzy continued to run the bar and eventually handed over the reins to George in the late 70s. Although during his time there George was responsible for some of the most significant changes to premises and in the mid 1980s substantially increased the size of the premises with a two storey extension that included a large lounge and function room, large kitchen area and accommodation on the first floor.
Even though the bar had proved extremely popular for the locals, its space was limited and the extension facilitated both the need for more space and a location to provide live music. Primarily using local acts, it didn’t take long for the extension to find popularity with people on the peninsula and was regularly packed on all three nights of the weekend.
This, coupled with the increasing trade from the adjacent church helped to keep the pub extremely busy. With a lounge and function room this allowed Long’s to cater for everything from pre wedding drinks, after funeral receptions and christenings. They also began to host birthday and anniversary parties as well as fundraising occasions. They continued the success providing music from the likes of Gerry Larkin and Henry Mac.
But disaster struck in 1996 when a chimney fire ignited the thatch roof and completely burned the pub to the ground. Although it took nearly four years to renovate the premises, John returned with one of the biggest and best restorations to be seen in the area. The main bar was increased in size. The lounge and function room were completely redesigned. A fully functioning professional kitchen was included and the upstairs accommodation was transformed into the very first Chinese restaurant on the peninsula called The Great Wall which proved hugely popular and ran for the following ten years before changing leases and became Johnny Wongs that traded for a following two years.