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7 illustrations of Cork city pubs by artist Lucia Moreno - plus the reasons to visit them

“The pubs are what got me hooked on Cork.”

AFTER MOVING FROM Albacete, Spain to Cork three years ago, it was love at first sight for illustrator and nurse Lucia Moreno.

Aside from the “great opportunities, lovely people and beautiful scenery”, it’s the pubs of Cork that got Moreno “hooked” on the city.

“They’re different from anywhere else I’ve been before,” she says. “Each one is so unique but all of them feel homey. You can find really good live music every night, have great conversation with the locals and, as a beer drinker, the selection of beers is out of this world.”

I don’t have much free time lately, but when I do you can find me fixing the world over a pint with my friends. Maybe that’s why it’s not surprising that a few months ago I started paying tribute to these pubs with my illustrations.

Moreno sells her print on Etsy, and receives “many messages” from customers saying how meaningful the illustrations are for them. “I hear all kind of stories, from people meeting their significant other to people growing up as kids in them,” she says. “That kind of feedback makes my day and it’s definitely the best part of the job.”

Below, Moreno shared seven illustrations of her favourite pubs in Cork city – as well as the reasons why she keeps going back. You can check out her Instagram here, and her Etsy shop here

1. Mutton Lane Inn, Mutton Lane

mutton Source: Lucia Moreno

Mutton Lane Inn is a big favourite of everyone in Cork. I love to go there for midweek pints and more than once I’ve found myself working on my laptop in there on a quiet afternoon. It’s the cosiest pub ever and you can easily find dogs chillin’ inside. For me, that’s a plus!

Do you know that feeling when your mam proudly hangs one your pictures on the fridge door? Well, I get that feeling again every time I spot this illustration hanging on one of their walls. 

2. El Fenix, Union Quay

fenix Source: Lucia Moreno

Next to Charlie’s, El Fenix was the first pub that I drew. They’ve got great gigs happening all the time and there’s nothing like bringing a few stools outside to sit by the river when the weather allows it. And the dogs, again, so many dogs!

3. Tom Barry’s, Barrack St, The Lough

tombarrys Source: Lucia Moreno

When the sun is out you need to run to Tom Barry’s if you want to get a table outside. Pretty much because, in my opinion (and everybody else I know’s opinion), they’ve got the best beer garden in the city.

The place is beautiful and the views of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral contribute to that. A few meters up on the same street you can find Mr Bradley’s, another of my favourites, and a few meters down, Alchemy is a great spot for coffee. 

4. Sin É, Coburg St, Victorian Quarter

sine Source: Lucia Moreno

This place is just beautiful, both inside and outside. I love the mix of locals and tourists in there. You can listen to live trad music every single day. I once told my American friend we were going to Sin É to listen to trad music. He was so confused when we got there because apparently my Spanish accent made him think we were going to a trap music gig!

If it’s too crowded, or even if it isn’t, The Corner House right next door is another iconic pub worth a visit. 

5. Arthur Mayne’s, Pembroke St

arthurmaynes Source: Lucia Moreno

I’m surprised by the amount of people that don’t know about the cocktail bar upstairs at Arthur Mayne’s. It’s a hidden gem away from the crowds downstairs in the Crane Lane, another great venue you can’t miss while in Cork. Their cocktail selection is so good, although I always go for the old fashioned off menu. In case you go a bit wild with the booze, you can always order food downstairs until 1:30am, how great is that?

Fun fact: according to all the messages I’ve received from clients buying this print, this is the perfect spot for a successful first date! I still need to verify it myself. 

6. The Oval, South Main St

oval Source: Lucia Moreno

On a cold and rainy day, The Oval is the perfect spot to be in, especially next to the fireplace. It’s such a pretty place. It has this mysterious and magical feeling – maybe because it’s a 100-year-old pub – as if at any moment a group of Hogwarts students are about to come in to grab a butterbeer. There’s no butterbeer on tap, but a well-poured pint of Beamish is definitely a good alternative. 

7. Franciscan Well, Sunday’s Well

franwell Source: Lucia Moreno

Franciscan Well is a pub that is also a brewery, with a nice beer garden where you can find Pompeii, which is the best pizza spot in the city according to all my Italian friends.

Add the gigs, especially the jazz on Sundays, and a beer festival now and then – what else can you ask for? They also brew my favourite beer in the galaxy, Chieftain. 

More: 6 eye-catching images of Dublin’s ‘vanishing’ buildings by photographer David Jazay

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