There has been a licensed premises on this town square site since 1847, but it had lain vacant in recent years. Tuam natives Stevie and Amanda Lane had been working in the industry in Dublin for twelve years but decided to move back home to open their own place. Stevie was Sous Chef at the Pig’s Ear on Nassau Street and had worked with John Wyer (now Forest Avenue) at Mulberry Garden before that.
“We had been to college and worked in Tuam, so we came full circle. We renovated the whole place,” says Amanda.
It needed a lot of work. The back room was a full-length bar which now has enough tables and chairs for 40 covers. We were looking for a place with a lot of history to it, which Browne’s certainly has. We have tried to keep as many original features as possible like the fireplace and the old grocery paper roll which we now use to write the bar snack menu on.
Bar snacks include black pudding cigars and house roasted nuts.
Browne’s opened for evening food in October 2016. There are small sharing plates instead of starters and main courses. Amanda says they wanted it to be casual so people could try what was on each other’s plates.
“It’s the way we like to eat. It creates a nice hum of conversation too. We recommend people take about four plates for two people to share which works out at about €40. They might have beef cheek, carrot and buckwheat, roast cod, cauliflower and pine nuts and maybe some goats cheese with onion and walnut and some beef dripping chips, but the menus change every few days.”
Desserts this week are chocolate parfait with peanut and caramel and panna cotta with blood orange and honeycomb. There is an Irish cheese board for €9. House wines are €22 with the most expensive of the eight bottles coming in at €50. There are also local craft beers and Armagh cider.
They started doing lunches three weeks ago and Amanda says the word is spreading. The menu is short, with sandwiches at €8 and soup at €5. This week there is a duck ciabatta with goats cheese and squash among others.
“We’re really delighted. Numbers are going up week on week. Social media really helps. Tuam people like Facebook but further afield Twitter and Instagram get your name out there. People can see that we are committed to using local, seasonal produce from the likes of Gannet Fishmongers and Galway Goat Farm. We are still getting established but the market is definitely there.”
For more information, visit www.brownestuam.ie.