Wednesday, February 01, 2023


NESTLED away on the Pike Hill as you turn off from the N25, the quiet and isolated Bridgie Terries is anything but that.

A home away from home for many, the pub and restaurant has been in the hands of the Daly family since 1998, with thousands of faces passing through the doors since, few ever leaving with hunger or sorrow.

2023 will mark 25 years from when the Daly’s made their initial mark in the locality, and Manager, Martin Carroll, reckons it’s been non-stop ever since.

With great success comes great teamwork and adaptability to an ever-changing landscape. Like many rural haunts, Bridgie Terries faced a tough time with the onset of Covid-related restrictions, but with extended outdoor offerings and a spacious inviting epicentre, the customers have kept on coming.


‘Without the locals that are here, you have a business. The locals change it from a business to a family’


“It’s booked out most weekends at the moment,” said Martin. “We’re booked out almost all of summer. Whether it’s confirmations, communions, christenings, 21sts or 50ths – tractor runs, you name it. We had 600 people here last Sunday. It’s often mayhem. Sundays, you have to queue for a table. You’re getting the same faces over and over again, but there’s new ones that become familiar.”

With 22 staff on the books, Carroll has assembled a high-class team, hellbent upon being uniquely hospitable, to locals, first-timers and special guests alike. Whether it’s your first time or your 1000th coming through the door, you matter exactly as much.

“Locals are our bread and butter. We have the kind of place that will drop them home down the road for them to come back five minutes later, whereas we can just as easily cater for tourists, passers-by, whoever. Our staff enjoy their work. It makes it 10 times easier. We succeed and fail together.”


Bridgie Terrie’s staff, from left: Mary Fennell, Klaus Weisser, Mags Hurley, Martin Carroll and Mary O’Dwyer. Photo: Sean Byrne


Music and great food

Music is at the heart of the venue’s spirit, with live performances every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Three new bands have been added to the rotating roster, many of whom were chomping at the bit to play in a bar that has gathered a reputation for the most memorable of nights.

The premise of a well-run home often centres upon a well-cooked warm meal, something Bridgie Terries can offer in abundance.

“You have a wide range of foods”, explains Martin. “There’s a normal lunch menu that runs from 12:30 to 3:30pm. Then, from 3:30pm to close, you have an a-la-carte menu, which has 20 different options from burgers, steaks and fish to a range of vegetarian options. Our specials board could entail another eight or nine dishes, so we’re constantly offering variety. We have the widest range of food that there is.”

Chefs Klaus and Mags run an efficient and tight knit ship, never failing to go the extra mile, be it a table of six or sixty.

One lasting impression they’ve made on a young palate, is now the priority for a big day.

“I got a phone call last week,” Martin explained. “It was from a lady in Cork. Her son’s confirmation is coming up on a Wednesday in March, and they asked him where he’d like to go. He said he wants to go to Bridgie Terries for roast beef!”


Sports lovers

Bridgie Terries is also the perfect place for sports lovers, with in-house pool tournaments, live horse racing and games and entertainment galore. A WhatsApp group with 40 names operates on a first-come first-served basis each Friday night, and there’s never a shortage of friendly competition. Cards come next on a Monday, with many tournaments often contributing to local charities and causes.

Giving back to the community is at the heart of the Bridgie Terries’ ethos, sponsoring local soccer club Dungarvan Celtic, local motorcyclist Nathan Norris, and always putting their hand up when events are in the pipeline.

“Without the locals that are here, you have a business. The locals change it from a business to a family. It’s them that create the character. You’ve a certain one or two that you could sit all night and talk to. One guy is called The Black Donkey. Everyone that comes through the door from Wexford to Cork, he knows them. If you come in for your dinner and you don’t know anyone, by the time you leave, you’ll know the whole pub. That is what makes this place special. We’re all workers but we form friendships. We always want to give back to the locality. We’ll always lend a hand.”

The venue itself is free of charge to those seeking to celebrate a special occasion, be it a birthday, anniversary, christening or wedding. With a capacity that caters for over 100, it has proved a popular place of refuge with over 350 covers taken on your average Sunday afternoon. Being based off a major road, there is a reliance on passing trade – which helps to make a mark.

“Passing trade is a big thing. The main comment we get on TripAdvisor is ‘hidden gem’. We are somewhat hidden. We’re off the N25, just outside Dungarvan but again it’s not far from Lemybrien or on to Waterford. Once you come here once, we want you to keep coming back. The pub is a home away from home. Open fires and stoves create a homely atmosphere. We want you to almost take a step back in time when you come through the door. The way the lads look after you is second to none.”

Martin is a firm believer that the greatest gospel in hospitality is the power of word of mouth. His goal is that customers from all fields far and wide will come away satisfied, and tell their friends about their experience, ultimately casting the net wider and wider.

“If someone comes away saying I can’t wait to come back, that’s the greatest compliment that you can get and we hear it a lot. You see people after dinner saying they’re not having dessert, but when they see them – they change their mind fast. Everything is made from scratch in-house. Once it’s gone, it’s gone until a new one is made. Breda was famous for her apple tarts. She was often inside at 6:30 in the morning with five of them made and then she’d be ready for lunch by 12.”

When Mike Daly first set out his stall in the late 1990s, few could have imagined the unwavering success that would have followed. Those cut from the same cloth have encountered an incomprehensible void since Mike Jrs passing last year, having also lost his mother Breda and father Mike Sr.

“When Mike Sr. passed away, that was a lot for Breda and she took a step back. Myself and Mike Daly Jr had a friendship that was wonderful. We were inseparable. It’s changed a lot since he’s gone. You constantly expect him to come in the door with his purple, yellow and black Armani runners. It affected so many people when he passed away. 4,000 people passed through the funeral home. He was so well respected within the pub trade.”


The future

Going forward, there are big plans for Bridgie Terries, including the potential for shuttle buses to Clonea Strand and potentially being added to a LocalLink route. Regardless of what blossoms, the legacy of the Daly family will forever shine through.

“The name will never change. We want to keep the memory and work that they did before they passed alive. We keep trying to improve what they’ve built and keep it as it was as if they were still here. We have a new bar going in outside with thanks to Guinness so you can get your drinks outside at parties. There’ll be plenty for all the family and we just want to keep being a place that people can go and feel at home.”


All about family

Family is at the forefront of everything. Be it the home cooked meal, the arm around the shoulder, the bustling fire or friendly smile. This venue isn’t just one for over-18s, it’s all about family.

Santa pays a visit for the local children each Christmas Eve, while a first Halloween Disco for kids was held in October. Children from the local primary school play card games each Wednesday night with proceeds reinvested into the school itself.

“You don’t have to go to the pub on your own. You can bring your family. It’s not just for adults. We have something for everybody.”

Plaudits have flown in for the Pike Hill pub with nominations for Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Bar Experience and Best Customer Service at last year’s Irish Restaurant Awards, while Martin was nominated for Best Pub Manager in Munster.

With a dedicated and driven team, a homely atmosphere, incredible food and variety across the board – Bridgie Terries is a must for anyone at a loose end on a leisurely weekend drive, planning the next date night or looking for a fun family day out. Once you’ve walked through the big brown doors, the Hotel California effect kicks in. You can check out and wave goodbye, but some say you never truly leave.


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By Jordan Norris
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