Pub Galway – An Irish Oasis in Quebec

Pub Galway – An Irish Oasis in Quebec

LIQ_Mag_Mar2014_Cover_FinalThis review first appeared in the March 2014 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.

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By Heloise Leclerc

While he was still employed by the Guinness Company at the beginning of the 90’s, Pub Galway’s owner Yves Ledoux admits he was swept off his feet by the Celtic Tiger, the Irish wave that washed over the World. “These were the times of Lord of the Dance and U2. Guinness enthusiastically promoted the concept of “Irish pubs” and I was very much attracted by it.”

LiQ_Mag_Abonnez-vousWhen he travelled to Ireland in 1996, Yves Ledoux came face to face with the local culture, which made an impact on him because of its hospitality and flamboyant joie de vivre. The next year, he acquired Café Java Java on Cartier and started celebrating St-Patrick’s day every year, like many other bars in town.

In 2007, he took a turn and decided to transform his Java into a full-on Irish pub. “We closed for two weeks and renovated everything. I called upon an artisan to help build the new bar, but I pretty much designed the whole decor by myself.” Quickly, the walls of the establishment got covered with barrels, flags, maps and accessories sourced from his many trips to Boston, New York, Chicago… and the Internet.

Yves Ledoux baptized his new Irish pub “Pub Galway”, as a tribute to Ireland’s fourth biggest agglomeration after Dublin, Cork and Limerick. “I was struck by all the similarities with Quebec City, as they are both costal, fortified, college towns. Not to mention our respective flags both display ships,” explains the man who obviously did his research.

Since 2007, Galway’s team offers to its customers an Irish haven where they have a great time sampling one of the 26 beers and 2 ciders on tap. This selection of drinks is complemented with a comforting bar menu, with Irish touches here and there, such as their popular O’Mac and cheese, with smoked pulled pork, which, assures the owner, changes everything.

All the efforts deployed to create an immersive concept, matching Ireland’s reputation for hospitality and conviviality, seem to have borne fruit. Yves Ledoux tells us “A couple of weeks ago, a lady who was from Galway but currently living in Chicago, journeyed to Québec. She instinctively looked for an Irish pub to celebrate the holidays and paid us a visit. When she walked in, she started tearing up. She said she felt at home. It came from the bottom of her heart.”

Yves Ledoux is already working on the planning of next St-Patrick’s day at Pub Galway, which has become a true tradition over time. Since the Irish national day falls on March 17th, he will have an Irish Music duo performing on the preceding Saturday night and will hold an Irish brunch on Sunday, with black and white pudding, fried tomatoes, lard and soda bread to start off a long day of live music. And, in the spirit of tradition, green beer will flow until late Monday night. “Cheers!” or “Slainte Mhaith!” to all, as the Irish like to say.

Pub Galway
1112 rue Cartier
Québec (Québec)  G1R 2S5
Téléphone: 1 (418) 522-5282

About Author

Héloïse Leclerc

A passionate writer, a trained cook and a hungry traveller, Heloise Leclerc was born and raised in Quebec City, and has lived in Montreal, Beijing and Vancouver for the best part of the last decade. Her food obsession now channelled in food blogging, she is hoping that her many culinary projects will help the Quebec food scene thrive and get recognition as one of the most exciting anywhere in the World.

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