Last orders as Ardglass bar manager calls time on 27-year career

Last orders as Ardglass bar manager calls time on 27-year career

4 September 2019

IT was lights out and shutters down for the final time for bar manager Andrew Smyth at Ardglass’ Lighthouse Bar at the weekend.

The popular local man has retired after 27 years of serving drinks to patrons.

Family, friends, customers and members of Ardglass GAC — Andrew sponsored the club’s senior team on behalf of the bar — attended a party on Saturday night to wish him all the best in his retirement.

While the established bar has changed hand four times during Andrew’s time working there, he has been a constant and familiar face for customers.

As a man in his twenties, Andrew began working part-time in the Lighthouse Bar while working in the nearby fish factory filleting fish before he went full-time into the bar trade. 

His first proprietor was Nellie O’Boyle, with whom he worked for around 12 years. He continued behind the counter when the bar was sold to Maurice Conlon and he worked for him for about six years.

Andrew also worked for previous owner Stephen Laverty, and latterly, for current owner Philip Milligan, for whom Andrew has been working as manager for more than 10 years.

While the father-of-five plans to enjoy his retirement with his wife Angela and his ten grandchildren, he says he will miss the early days of his bar work — and the many characters who used to frequent the bar.

“There’s no characters left anyone,” said Andrew. “Today’s drinkers come in and just sit and look at their mobiles. The town used to be full of characters, but they are long gone now.”

Andrew thanked everyone for organising and attending his farewell party.