Hayes Bar gastropub in the village of Glandore commands one of the best views in West Cork. Outdoor tables look over the harbour to the fishing pier at Union Hall. Diners will often spot a trawler steaming by as it goes out to sea with the tide or returns home with a catch. In summer, an impressive array of stunning yachts and little sailing craft are moored in this quiet cove of turquoise waters. Who needs St. Tropez with scenery like this?
Hayes is family owned, with generations of history. The last family members to run it were Ada and Declan Hayes. Ada started a food trend at Hayes Bar long before there was ever such a term. When she became landlady and introduced a food element to the pub, Ada began to include fruit in her salads, so she didn’t have to use coleslaw or mayonnaise on plates which were taken to outdoor tables with the sun beating down. Her new salads became a cult.
Now retired, the couple’s pub is in the capable hands of Julie and David Wine. David is an intelligent, well travelled chef, who quietly gets on with serving great food to locals and visitors. He well understands the legacy that comes with this iconic premises.
Born in Dublin, David moved to the UK as a child, first to London then to Blackpool in Lancashire. As a young man in the 70s he wanted to be a chef but couldn’t get into catering college because all the courses were French classic cooking, and he didn’t speak French. So he attended the Bakery School in Blackpool which gave him his start.
From there, he has expanded his knowledge of food and cooking over a lifetime. You’d know he was a baker when you taste the wonderful beer bread he serves with copper pots of steamed Roaring Water Bay mussels. “I make my bread the old fashioned way, using a mix of Guinness and Heineken and leaving the culture to prove slowly,” he says.
Eventually, David made his way back to Ireland, to meet and marry Julie, then to relocate them both to beautiful Glandore. At Hayes, he serves an eclectic menu that reflects the rich seafood heritage of the area. There are no chips in sight and each dish sings with taste.
He says: “I believe in flavour. I use authentic recipes and try to imagine a dish as it should be enjoyed, with tastes that assault you over the head.” Nowhere does this ring more true than the curries he makes using balanced spice mixes taught to him by his sister-in-law who is of South African-Indian origins.
David is a firm supporter of local. “All our fish comes from the fish shop in Union Hall. I use Mrs Nolan’s Union Hall Smoked Salmon because I think it’s the best smoked salmon around. Our chickens are from Clonakilty. We source beef from a supplier in Cork but we don’t do steak here, we use the beef in other dishes. We are lucky to have a great view which would make people come anyway. But I love what I do so why would I want them to come and find us serving cheap food at huge prices. Of course we have to keep an eye to prices as well, but we design our menu so there is something affordable for everyone. We have a lot of regulars supporting us. Plus we are open in winter so our regulars keep us going.”
Julie works front of house, managing a young team who come from this area. Hayes Bar makes a point of employing local. Dublin born Julie has been seconded into the hospitality industry via her marriage to David! Her former life in advertising is a big help in showcasing Hayes Bar to a wider audience. The food and the view help. Grab a table outdoors, browse the menu and soak up the sound of happy diners clinking cutlery in one of Ireland’s most scenic spots.
[pull_quote_center]For more information on Hayes Bar, visit their Facebook.[/pull_quote_center]