Friday, June 8, 2012

Arthur Maynes Pharmacy & Winebar

I have heard from Arthur Mayne a few weeks back when Kate Lawlor tweeted from the bar and I was of course intrigued. I haven't been out in town (Cork City that is) for a while and was a bit out of touch with things happening so close to my doorstep. So last Saturday was the best opportunity to pay them a visit as I had a friend over from Germany and thought it would be nice to experience something new together.

Arthur Maynes used to be a pharmacy and new owner Benny McCabe has left the entire shop as it was - with the display units and even its contents. The walls still have their old plaster and no one wanted to paint it over - it adds to the charm of the place. The tables and chairs are a nice mix & match and if you are a lover of traditional photography, the backroom is a treasure trove of old cameras - most of them I am sure still work.

Bread Board with Dips
To keep in with the pharmacy 'theme' (it's not really a theme), a presciption card is offered for €20 and is valid for 12 months with the option to be topped up (again valid for 12 months). This card enables you to try different wines from the state-of-the-art wine Italian Enomatic dispenser (the second such in Ireland, for special bottles, operated by a credit card mechanism, that will give tastes, small or large glasses, of selected wines, all of them kept absolutely fresh by the use of nitrogen gas. But when I was visiting we ordered a bottle of Portuguese Ciconia - a rich red Syrah which was one of the best Portuguese wines I have ever tasted. A pity I had to drive so that I stuck with one glass - a real pity. The wine list we were given was bound in leather which was embellished lovely with gold and silver motives. Had to resist to snatch it up....

The lunch menu is short but covers all tastes with soup of the day (it was vegetable when I visited) for €4, salad of the day for €5, different sandwiches (generous cut bread and fillings) for €5 but I think the different boards are the best - simple, no fuss but damn good dips, meats and cheeses (you can choose the cheese yourself). The cheese board was €9, meat board €10.50 and the bread board with different dips was €4.50 (great lunch options). Different antipasto and pates are also on offer....

The service comes with a smile and is very laid back but very efficient.
Chicken Salad Sandwich

Arthur Maynes is in a building dating back to 1700s and it is leased from the Byrne family and Jim Byrne worked at the pharmacy since the 1940s....the exterior hasn't changed much since then either - still having the old mosaic front since - and it seems that the new owner is treating the place with the respect it deserves.

Arthur Maynes is located in Pembroke Street - opposite Imperial Hotel and the side of the GPO building.

I love the place and will be back many times - have to try the evening times to see what the atmosphere is then. Wishing the team all the best for the future, I am sure they don't need it.

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