116 Hillhead Rd,
If you believe that the thatched cottage and half door are now only to be seen in folk museums, then think again.
The Thatch Bar, near Castledawson, retains all the mood and charm of yesteryear’s Irish cottage pub.
The building goes back well over a century and was, as you would expect, a spirit grocer’s.
The licensee can show you a fine painting of the inn of former days, done by a local artist called McCloskey, and a grand painting of the blacksmith’s forge by the same hand.
The recent modernisation undertaken inside has done nothing to spoil the ambience of tapestried seating, Tudor style tables, stucco walls and high shelves bearing such articles as old crockery hot water bottles, underlining the appearance of the traditional cottage pub.
An early photograph shows that today’s pub was once right smack on the roadside before the steamroller in the picture flattened out the new road and set the inn back from the thoroughfare.
Nowadays it is the pub itself that does the shifting, settling its customers back in a quainter, quieter style of life.