Tir Na Nog, in Irish literally means ‘Land of the Young’. In Celtic lore it is a magical land of Irish Gods and Fairies. Tir Na Nog Irish Pub in Daytona Beach may not quite conjure up that image, but what it lacks in looks it more than makes up for in Irish hospitality. The true measure of an Irish Pub is not how many shamrocks it has on its walls, but rather the atmosphere or Craic, and the Craic at Tir Na Nog is mighty. It is a dive bar in every sense of the word and that is a good thing. The Pub’s own website describes it as ‘a basement like atmosphere’. I wandered over the first time on a Wednesday night around midnight already having had a few libations at the much more touristy but fun Ocean Deck a few blocks away. As I approached the pub I could see a small group outside puffing on cigarettes. They greeted me with hellos and maybe a bit of an odd look, the kind of look that is not unwelcoming but implies that they don’t see many strange faces. They started a conversation with me right away and before I had even entered the bar I had met three regulars…Willie, Mickey and Marie. Inside it was pretty slow as it was a cold January night, just three or four more folks sitting on bar stools. Marie introduced me to Scott manning the bar. I ordered a pint of Guinness which is another very important part of any Irish Pub. If you’re a Guinness drinker you know the quality of the pint can be dramatically different from bar to bar. It can range from spectacular, to down right awful. Being at pub on the beach in Florida I wasn’t expecting anything more than average, but I was pleasantly surprised when Scott took the time to pour the pint correctly and delivered it to me with just the right amount of smooth, creamy head (get your mind out of the gutter). It wasn’t quite a Dublin pint, nothing this side of the Atlantic is. It was, however, a very good pint of Guinness and definitely the best I’ve had in Florida. Over the next couple hours I enjoyed several more pints and some great, crazy conversation from Scott and the rest of the gang. I have returned to enjoy many fine pints since. If you’re looking for a great neighborhood bar without any pretense I highly recommend Tir Na Nog.
Tir Na Nog is located on ISB (International Speedway Blvd) just off A1A in Daytona Beach