Flanagan’s pub is close to the town of Brickens, between Ballyhaunis and Claremorris, and about five minutes off the N17 that runs between Galway and Sligo. The pub is at the side of the road, and this family business has been on this site since. In 2010 Luke Flanagan and his wife Caroline took over the business the running, refurbished it completely - getting rid of the ubiquitous shop - and re-positioned it as a food driven business, with Luke in the kitchen and Caroline out front.
From the outside Flanagan’s is nicely painted in dark red and creams and there is plenty of parking. Inside it’s quite traditional, with a large bar running along the back wall and tables and chairs to the front. On a January day, there are some local couples at other tables finishing their lunch.
In addition to the menu there is a blackboard with specials; on this day a roast beef and a pan fried hake in a cheese and mustard sauce.
The menu features lots of favourites including chicken wings, a home made soup, fish cakes and….Main courses offer a pie of the day, fish and chips, a choice of steaks and a couple of pastas. I decide on the homemade fish cakes and have a bottle of sparkling water with them. Service is friendly and brisk, and I am soon enjoying the fish cakes a lot. They are so obviously fresh and homemade; I clean the plate in no time. The hake could have been a little bit overcooked, but not so as to spoil my enjoyment and the sauce is quite pleasing, and not so overpowering as to spoil the flavour of the fish.
I finished with a homemade bread and butter pudding and custard, and a very good coffee. Flanagan’s is a work in progress, but their heart is in the right place and the food is tasty and wholesome and very good value. It is great to see this young couple take a chance on taking the family business to a new level, and I predict that Flanagan’s will go from strength to strength. A breath of fresh air.