AMONG the thirsty legions who frequent the pubs and bars of John Street in Omagh, McCann’s is regarded as a humble jewel.
However, until earlier this week, few of McCann’s local appreciators would have thought that its reputation exceeded the limits of the street on which it lays.
But wrong they were, for McCann’s has been named the ‘15th best bar in the UK’ by ‘Time Out London’ magazine.
Among the blessed bars and prized pubs to make this holy list, only four were from the North, and only one of that quartet lays beyond the borders of Belfast. In the pithy summation of McCann’s put forth by the TimeOut judges, they described McCann’s as ‘a pub with bags of character’.
They continued, “If the idea of sitting in a quiet Irish pub with a pint of Guinness and watching the world go by sounds good to you, then this is the pub you need to make a pilgrimage to.”
While those who wander between Omagh’s many public houses would agree that the world ends at the bottom of John Street, they might argue that the judges’ opening line didn’t quite to capture everything there is to say about McCann’s.
However, the equivocation in their second line got close to the mark.
“Unless it’s one of the nights they’ve got live music on, in which case it’ll be anything but quiet, there are no airs and graces to this watering hole – but why would you want there to be any?”
And that just about does it: Peaceful by nature, but capable of great swings of excitement!
Manager of the bar, Enda McCann, was pleased to have pub recognised in this prestigious list.
“It was a welcome surprise!” began Enda.“I woke up one morning and received a link to the article. It was a pleasure to be listed alongside many great pubs, including a fine selection in Belfast, also.”
Enda continued, “It’s always hard to know exactly what people like about the bar, but I think it’s something to do with the combination of traditional aesthetics, quality draught beer, excellent live music, and a host of local characters that keep the place alive!”