10 Strand Rd,
Without a doubt, the finest Victorian Bar front in the city belongs to the Grand Central at the foot of Strand Road.
Unfortunately, this fine pub was badly damaged by a bomb, and almost all of it had to be replaced inside.
Happily, the reconstructed snugs have been done in a style loyal to the original, and the splendid mahogany showcase, which dates back to the early twenties, is still proudly magnificent behind the counter.
This showcase is said to have been made by prison labour, by prisoners from the old Derry Gaol in Bishop Street.
The Grand Central was owned by the Mulherne family from the twenties up to the late eighties, and the family is to be commended for having resisted the temptation to inflict wholesale change and modernisation upon it.
The black and white stone-tiled floor is now under a carpet for no other reason than the unavailability of replacement tiles for the broken ones, but you can still see in the front porch the familiar traditional black and white diamond shapes.
The present owner also ‘runs’ The Derby in Great James Street: another pub with a fine Victorian exterior.
It was designed by an architect who was also responsible for two other buildings in the city: Austin’s in the Diamond, and Doherty’s in Waterloo Street, and his architectural signature, the distinctive curved windows, is in evidence in all three.
The Savoy Grill, Derry The Savoy Grill was patronised by royalty during the Second World War, but is noteworthy in that it claims to be the first bar in Ireland to introduce “Men Only” regulations for licensed premises.