Address :
50 Church Pl,
BT66 6HD

If you are in the town of Lurgan and fancy a drink in an atmosphere of sedate privacy and comfort, you need to look no further than the Cellar Bar in the town centre. This is the bar that once was an actual cellar at the time when Dennis O’Neill bottled his own imported wines, one of the first in Northern Ireland to undertake this delicate process.

Today the bar retains the name but is no longer below street level. Instead, it is a superior, carpeted lounge bar with four large, circular, private snugs of green, with matching small stools and brass-railed curtains.
The licence was first granted way back in 1839, but in 1845 the Donnelly family started to run the business as a spirit grocers. You can choose if you wish to sit right up at the bar on one of the fourteen high bar stools, but by so doing you won’t be able to admire the many fine prints framed around the walls, or the row of delph ornaments, oil lamps, lanterns and bric-a- brac along the canopy shelf.

There’s an Irish corner in the middle snug, with a display of the full range of Aran stitches and a lovely old copper map of Ireland. The soothing decor of the pub, with its Victorian wallpaper and stained glass effects, is largely the design of the daughter of the present owner, Paddy McCann, who will tell you that their big lunch menu has boosted the daytime business in recent years.

Nighttime may well take you to the Catwalk Nightclub, a top-class spot recently built on what was formerly the rear car park. It’s a rotunda-style dance area, with a lovely bandstand effect lighting system and floor space, enclosed by plate glass mounted pilasters and finely wrought black iron railings, all below the superb coving, moulding and plasterwork ceiling.

The twisted brass lampstands with translucent spherical globes in triplicate, and the marble-top counter complete an impression of opulent style. The stained glass flower motif is sustained throughout the windows and doors, while the wrought iron-based circular tables of oak in the eight beautiful snugs find an echo in the grand oak panelling of the counter face.

It’s no surprise that in its one-year lifespan the Catwalk has emerged as one of the most acclaimed nightclubs in the entire Craigavon area. In days gone by, you went to the cellars when you wanted only the best, something special.

In Lurgan that is still very much the case.