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The Old Oak

Oliver Plunkett Street , Cork, Ireland

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Overall: 5.0    Food: 5.0    Drink: 5.0    Atmosphere: 4.0   
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The Old Oak Features In 1 Tours; Cork Jazz Festival 2006 Pub Trail,  
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The Rate Pubs Experience is written by one of our staff who has visited the premises in question. It's still their own personal experience but is perhaps a bit more detailed than the usual review...

You don’t get to be one of the most popular pubs in any city without doing something right. Which means you can be pretty certain that The Old Oak is popular for a reason other than its prime location, especially since what started as a small city-centre pub has continued growing until it is now what can only be described as a superpub.

The Old Oak began life a little over 15 years ago as a small pub holding maybe 50 people. It gradually expanded into neighbouring premises and is now a large meandering pub with four different bars and a selection of nooks and crannies. From the front door you enter the original refurbished bar and make your way through an archway into a large room with a second bar. To your left a passage leads to a third bar, while the right has a stage and beyond that another room with a fourth bar. The primary building materials are wood and brick. These are used in different ratios but still provide an overall feeling of being in the one bar.

The mention of a “superpub” is usually not a good sign, conjuring up pictures of massive drink emporiums without atmosphere or warmth. The Old Oak, despite its size manages to avoid the worst of this because the individual areas are not too large themselves.

I last paid a visit to The Old Oak on a Saturday evening. At 8pm the bar had a smattering of customers and there were plenty of seats available. Waiting for a pint of Murphy’s to settle I took a look around. The customers ranged from people in their early 20s up to at least one man in his 70s. As it filled up the profile changed and at the end of the night the average age was early thirties with an almost equal number of males and females.

The pint arrived and was smooth and creamy. I have generally found the quality of the stout to be very good in The Old Oak, though I have had some bad lagers in the past. The price is standard for Cork city with my Murphy’s costing €3.80 and a Heineken €3.90.

One of the real attractions of the Old Oak is its long dedication to live music. As you will see from the posters around the bar there are bands many nights a week, usually with no cover charge. These play on the stage in the main bar and the pictures are relayed to the TVs around the bar though the sound isn’t. There wasn’t a band playing tonight but there was a DJ by the stage.

There are toilets both in the main bar and up stairs. There was no signature list to say if they were checked regularly or not but they were clean throughout the night.

The Old Oak is successful for a reason. They put effort into getting good bands, the pint is good, and the atmosphere lively. If you're in Cork pay it a visit. Even if you don't love it you'll have fun…and probably find yourself going back at least once.

March 2006

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Overall: Rating:5/5    Food: Rating:3/5    Drink: Rating:5/5    Atmosphere: Rating:5/5   

Sex Not Specified Fantastic bar.
Live bands for free 4 nights a week, great pints and well priced. - Tim, Ireland

Anonymous, Sep 9, 2011
Overall: Rating:1/5    Food: Rating:1/5    Drink: Rating:1/5    Atmosphere: Rating:1/5   

Sex Not Specified Horrible, aggressive dump, whose staff apparently hate gay people and their friends. Avoid like the plague. Unless you're a bigot of course. - Melanie, Ireland

Anonymous, Aug 24, 2011
Overall: Rating:1/5    Food: Rating:1/5    Drink: Rating:1/5    Atmosphere: Rating:1/5   

Sex Not Specified A totally homophobic pub. Avoid! - Mark , Ireland

Anonymous, Aug 23, 2011
Overall: Rating:1/5    Food: Rating:2/5    Drink: Rating:3/5    Atmosphere: Rating:1/5   

Sex Not Specified Avoid at all costs!! - Anne, Ireland

Anonymous, Aug 23, 2011
Overall: Rating:1/5    Food: Rating:1/5    Drink: Rating:1/5    Atmosphere: Rating:1/5   

Sex Not Specified Homophobia is alive and well in the old oak! Disgusting! - Aileen Dunne, ireland

Anonymous, Aug 22, 2011
Overall: Rating:1/5    Food: Rating:1/5    Drink: Rating:1/5    Atmosphere: Rating:1/5   

Sex Not Specified Two male students ejected from Cork bar 'for kissing'

Monday, August 22, 2011 - 06:11 PM

Two male Cork Institute of Technology students were allegedly thrown out of a bar in Cork city on Saturday night for kissing on the dancefloor.

They say they were approached by a bouncer at the Old Oak on Oliver Plunkett Street and issued with a warning after sharing a brief kiss.

They later kissed again on the dancefloor and claim security told them to leave at that point.

When contacted by Cork's RedFM this evening, one of the students said that he is seeking legal advice, while the Old Oak said there was no manager available to comment at this stage.
This is totally unacceptable behaviour in 2011. - just don't support the place boycott it and tell everyone - The loss of the Pink Euro to the Old Oak will speak louder than words. Smelly place anyway - Alfie, Ireland

Anonymous, Aug 22, 2011
Overall: Rating:1/5    Food: Rating:2/5    Drink: Rating:2/5    Atmosphere: Rating:1/5   

Sex Not Specified Bar staff are rude, cold people and upon viewing the boss dealing with two "rowdy" customers in an overly aggressive manor, I am not surprised.Huge let down, will NEVER return. - Anon, Cork

Anonymous, Jun 2, 2011
Overall: Rating:1/5    Food: Rating:2/5    Drink: Rating:1/5    Atmosphere: Rating:1/5   

Sex Not Specified I went in a pair of runners and was told to leave. Staff are very rude and aggressive! - Tom Stack, Kerry

Anonymous, Apr 27, 2011
Overall: Rating:NR/5    Food: Rating:NR/5    Drink: Rating:NR/5    Atmosphere: Rating:1/5   

Sex Not Specified am english was in pub at match and told to leave great pub irish hospitality thats a joke!!!!! - ann, england

Anonymous, Jun 12, 2010
Overall: Rating:1/5    Food: Rating:NR/5    Drink: Rating:NR/5    Atmosphere: Rating:NR/5   

Sex Not Specified Very dissapointed with them!!! Went in there after a munster game after driving back from Thomond. We had no drink taken and were told 'sorry but we cant serve ye with jerseys on'. Disgraceful!! They show the matches but two hours later your not wanted in there. Will never go there again!!!!!! - Patrick, Eire

Anonymous, May 16, 2010
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