The Shire, Killarney

To be quite honest, I only sort of want to share this pub with you. I’ve been debating for some time. You see, I didn’t notice it was there right away – it’s just a few doors down from a busy intersection right in town, where it’s more important to keep your eyes on the traffic than scope the businesses around you. I spotted it from a bus heading out to Kilorglin and promised myself I’d come back to see how they transformed this pub into The Shire.

Now I should confess that I have not seen The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings movies in many years, and it’s been even longer since I read the books (1985 in Sendai, Japan), so if I botch any names or details, you have no recourse. Just saying. I am a fan though, and it all started coming back to me as I passed the Prancing Pony and headed to Modor…

We stopped in late, late afternoon on a Wednesday –  which turned out to be perfect. We were pre-dinnertime, so there was ample seating to choose from in the dark and cozy section they call Middle Earth. I could easily wander around and look at all the signs, pictures, wall writings, books and knickknacks without awkwardly disturbing the other patrons. (I didn’t have my picture taken in the Sméagol cutout by the door – mostly because the thought of my face on his body seemed disturbing). And as evening went on and the place filled up, we kept our wonderful seats for the live music. See? Perfect.

Part of our mission was to try their gourmet burgers. Their menu isn’t huge, but their portions are and my Sméagol burger with no bun (GF available if I wanted) was delicious, as you can only expect with grass-fed Irish beef and locally sourced food. But it paled in comparison I’m told, to the Guinness. It was apparently THAT good! I asked my resident expert to give it a rating out of 10, and he wasted no time in proclaiming it was a 10. “Seriously?” I asked. “Oh, yeah” says he, “It was beautiful.”

The Shire also has plenty of their own specialty drinks: Bilbo’s Beer, Frodo’s Lager & Gandalf’s Ale on tap, Shire Shots, a collection of dressed Gin & Tonics, as well as fun cocktails such as Hobbit Juice, Middle Earth Mojito or Sméagol on the Beach. They cater events there in Middle Earth – so a good place to gather your group! You can check out their food menu here and their drink menu here. Plan ahead if you’ll want to eat – the kitchen is only open Wed to Sat until 8 PM and Sunday until 7 PM.

Look for The Shire (with the Súgán Hostel) in Killarney, next to the Fairview Hotel on Lewis Rd, across from McSweeney Arms and find them on Facebook here.  (And for fun, hear Andy Serkis as Gollum or Sméagol reading Trump’s tweets here).


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