10 Meeting St,
This delightful little bar in busy Magherafelt is named after Mary Scullion, the last to own it in a family that had it in its possession for the best part of two hundred years.
Now, Mary may have been the last, but she was certainly far from the least because much of the structure and success of this flourishing, popular pub can be attributed directly to her vision and interest in the business.
There’s a very amusing little story here that illustrates both her resourcefulness and her diplomacy.
It seems that her head barman, a character of strong opinions and traditional views, simply would not allow women into ‘his’ bar, now the public downstairs bar.
Mary resolved the situation with characteristic practicability – she opened another bar upstairs to cater to both sexes!
Today it is a lovely lounge and part of an upstairs complex that includes a large function room at the back, with an impressive dance floor, and a little front room overlooking the street that is perfect for private meetings and smaller functions.
Downstairs, the bar now serves the fairer sex, of course, and has been joined by a television lounge which is worth a visit, except you might find yourself looking at the pictures on the wall instead of on the TV.
Rowell Friers has drawn a series featuring Ulster’s leading sporting figures, but with a difference, because he has jumbled up the personalities and the sports with the following results: Alex Higgins, boxer; Joey Dunlop, snooker star; Willie John McBride, goalkeeper; Mary Peters, rugby forward; Dennis Taylor, football striker; George Best, snooker player; and Pat Jennings, motorbike racer.
If all of this confuses you, slip over to the traditional public bar and its tiled floor, stone fireplace, and curved counter will reassure you that you haven’t had one too many.
Don’t forget to have a look at the rare and unusual delft ornaments on the mantelpiece, or the three-dimensional pub scenes carved out of the wood at the top end of the bar.
If you like a bar with an accent on comfort, cosiness, and character, you’ll not be disappointed by Mary’s of Magher felt.