Just in case you miss the fact Molly Malone’s is a traditional Irish pub, the whole place has been painted in tell-tale green.

Confidently billing itself as the city’s number one Emerald Isle venue, it is plastered in every imaginable item to link it to the “homeland”.

How many folk are able to read the Gaelic scrawls adorning just about every surface I don’t know but I wish I’d had my daughter’s partner on hand to translate and check a few – she’s from a far-flung Scottish island and actually teaches in Gaelic.

It’s not necessarily an issue for the pub as it’s not their responsibility, but I was interested to note there are quite substantial gatherings of belongings on either side of the exterior.

Clearly homeless folk feel setting up shop here is beneficial. Perhaps the Irish are more generous givers?

Or, given one person, presumably temporarily, had left their hat full of cash along with their other belongings unattended, they feel Paddies are trustworthy folk.

Whatever the case, from whatever direction you approach, you will need to walk past the various detritus across the pavement.

On the door there’s a clear sign the pub operates a strict age checking process. And, it’s backed up on the bar with another notice apologising for asking your age, “Don’t be offended, we probably secretly fancy you”. I waited expectantly to be asked for ID – I’m still waiting.

I was offended because a) I clearly look ancient and b) I’m unfanciable. I’m used to places operating a check everyone who looks under 21 policy, or even an under 25 policy, but 30 was a new cut off for me and I thought I was in with a chance.

Salt was rubbed into the wound as everyone was religiously asked for ID and one fellow, who looked as old as the hills but couldn’t prove it, was shown the door.

But, wait for it, the rigorous checking might be a direct result of the fact this place is open until 3am every single day and even later, 4am, on a Friday and Saturday.

And, what’s more it has live music from 10pm every day too.

As well as making 101 per cent per cent there are no under-age drinkers they probably rely on all available opportunities to refuse entry if they need to – how many 30 plus people carry ID?

Once you get in and get served it’s great.

They have even tried to engender the booth-type feeling you get in so many ancient Irish pubs – the walls don’t totally surround you but the impression is created.

Like all good Irish pubs this is about the drinking, the craic and the music so there is no place for darts or pool here. They’ve moved slightly off script with a couple of fruit machines but I suspect that decision is purely revenue based.

To start with it was piped music and among many tunes I enjoyed the Animals doing House of the Rising Sun.

But, then came George McCanna’s live acoustic set from the raised stage at the far end of the pub and he was pretty darned good – I particularly like his versions of David Gray’s Sail Away and a Crowded House number I haven’t heard for years.

Sticking with the one-colour theme even the spotlights are covered in green filters.

After the haranguing I received last time about picking fancy ales no one drinks I decided to keep everyone happy this week by selecting two bog-standard lagers on tap.

The first pint was Cobra, which wasn’t quite perfectly chilled but tasted great, the second was Staropramen which was perfectly chilled, but not quite so tasty.

One thing I did notice is you can tell regulars from first time visitors by the way they approach the bar – because it’s an oval, central bar the virgins come in and parade around the taps before selecting, locals are straight down to business.

Back at the bar myself I spied another leaflet from Sussex Police which demonstrates some new and innovative thinking.

Rather than just lecturing you, all it asks is that you keep an eye out for anyone you might feel is vulnerable.

I understand local cops won’t always get a great press but from what I can see the main man Giles York is trying hard and isn’t afraid to give some new thinking a try – I reckon we should support sensible stuff like this.

To complete the Molly Malone story – there’s free wi-fi, Tuesday is student night, you get Gaelic football shown live on the big screen, happy hour is Monday to Friday from 5pm to 7pm (on certain drinks) and the cocktail bar in the basement, Molly’s Bar, only opens at the weekend.

And that, I think, concludes the Irish odyssey – except to say the big old stainless steel urinal is filled with those smelly toilet blocks that Irish student rugby players used to dare each other to eat.


Decor: ★★★★☆

Feels like you’ve landed across the sea

Drink: ★★★☆☆

One was perfectly chilled, one tasted great, if I’d had a third I could have quoted Meatloaf

Price: ★★☆☆☆

Cobra at £4.75 is OK but a pint of Star at £5.10 is a bit steep

Atmosphere: ★★★★☆

With the booths full and George strumming it was lively enough

Staff: ★★☆☆☆

They did a reasonable job