A pub for everyone and every occasion. The Garrick, with traditional musicians who regularly take up residence in the corner of the bar, gives a nod to the old world, whilst welcoming in the new.
There are a number of stories relating to the name ‘The Garrick’. It has been said that the famous 18th-century Shakespearean actor David Garrick once visited this bar for a drink, while it’s also possible that the ‘Garrick’ name could have been inspired by the Garrick Club, a fashionable London rendezvous which was founded in 1831 as a place where ‘actors and men of education and refinement might meet on equal terms’. The Garrick Club was a favourite watering hole of the author William Thackeray, who visited Belfast in 1842 and this may have planted the suggestion in someone’s head at that time.
Around the time of Thackeray’s visit, The Garrick site was occupied by the marble and stone yard of William Low, who later ran a unique combined enterprise of spirit dealer and cement merchant in Victoria square. At some point during the 30 years that followed, a tavern was established at the corner of Chichester Street and Montgomery Street, and in 1870 McCauley, McCashin and Co. were dispensing drinks at this location.
The Garrick name was in use by 1892 at the latest, when W.J. McCoy ran The Garrick Bar and Billiard Room. Before the turn of the century, the bar became the second licensed premises to be acquired by the burgeoning partnership of Braithwaite and McCann and for many years had served as the firm’s head office in the city.
Recently owned by the O’Neill family, The Garrick was bought by Beannchor Ltd in May 2006 and in February 2007 was taken over by the manager Colm Oates. With such history we can just imagine sampling some of the finest Irish whiskey in a bar with many a story to tell.