Not just a bustling gastropub but what once provided Brickens in Co. Mayo with the traditional village trio of bar, grocery and hardware, Flanagans Gastro Pub has been awarded Just Ask Restaurant of the Month for June. Selected by renowned food writer Georgina Campbell and Bord Bia, the Just Ask Restaurant of the Month rewards eateries across Ireland that exhibit best practices in showing transparency in the sourcing of the food and drink on their menus.
Set five miles from Claremorris, Flanagan’s has been a fixture of the local community in Brickens (sometimes Brickeens) since the mid-Sixties and just under a decade ago the new proprietors Luke and Caroline Flanagan took over and transformed the old premises into a modern gastropub featuring a state of the art kitchen, attractive beer garden, contemporary outdoor area, wheelchair accessibility and, of course, the modern essential of free WIFI.
“Our aim is to provide a homely atmosphere,” owner Caroline Flanagan says, “having a place to meet friends and enjoy all the things that make a real pub great –– conversation, food, drink and a little trad music.”
Caroline continues by pointing out that the menu is really a delicious interpretation of local suppliers and ingredients – Irish produce and artisan ingredients are celebrated whilst particular emphasis is put on meat provenance –– “minced lamb and minced beef is supplied by Keanes Butchers in Claremorris and Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis supply our beef. Costello & McDermott in Ballinrobe supply us with our chicken and pork comes from neighbouring Andarl Farm in Brickens, Co. Mayo while our fresh fish and seafood come supplied by Starcrest Seafoods of Laghey in Co. Donegal”.
Flanagans’ fruit & vegetables are supplied by Connolly’s of Hollymount, Co. Mayo and certified organic growers Mill House farm of Williamstown, Co. Galway. Dairy products come from a diverse range of local suppliers, “including the fabulous Velvet Cloud Sheep’s milk yoghurt from nearby in Claremorris,” Caroline adds.
Drinks on the list include beers and spirits from breweries and distilleries both mere miles away and in neighbouring counties, like Black Donkey Brewing in Roscommon, Connacht Distillery in Ballina, The Shed in Leitrim, Reel Deel in Crossmolina and Mescan Brewery in Westport.
“All round, the Flanagans are doing a great job at this busy pub,” Georgina Campbell commented on the award giving, “and it’s good to see their hard work bringing success –– their ongoing development and improvement of both the food and drinks offering is a credit to all concerned”.