Talking to Sean & Joni of O'Ryans Irish Pub
Meet Sean and Joni of O’Ryans Irish Pub at Lindeplein in Brunssum. Sean is from Coleraine, county Derry, at the north coast of Northern Ireland and the driving force in the kitchen. Besides a chef, Sean is also a whisky lover, a fact proven by the pub’s décor as well as the drinks menu. Behind the bar is his manager Joni, Belgian by birth and always smiling. Joni used to be a midwife but is now the one welcoming each guest with a big smile. In O’Ryans Irish Pub you find a natural blend of Irish hospitality, whisky tasting, special beers, pool, board games and live music.
The Irish dream in Brunssum
“It all started with a dream, like so many things in life. Our dream was to run an Irish pub and we believe every town deserves one. We knew some people at JFC headquarters in Brunssum, came here, looked around and fell in love with Brunssum and its people. And in August 2020, O’Ryans Irish Pub opened its doors here, after the first Covid 19 lockdown period. The joy of introducing Irish hospitality to the people of Brunssum was short-lived, because after 7 weeks, we had to close for 7 months. And in 2021, there was a third lockdown period of 3 months. In fact, 2022 was our first full year of operation.”
Welcome at O'Ryans
Sean and Joni love talking about their shared passion for making people feel at home in the bar. Joni with a smile on her face running the bar, and Sean showing off his cooking skills in the kitchen. Even though Brexit threw a spanner in the works when it comes to his cooking ambitions. “I would love to serve a proper Irish breakfast and signature dishes like stews and pies. But after Brexit it’s very hard to get the typical products, at an affordable price that is. Still, we offer all the basic hot snacks and according to a lot of customers, the best chicken wings in town!”
“Talking about customers,” Joni adds, “We have customers from 18 to 88 years old, from all nationalities and they all blend together. It is as if they cherish the relaxed atmosphere here, great music, often live but never so loud you can’t hear yourself think. A lot of regulars come in, grab a board game and sit down a table together, enjoying their game and a drink. The drinks menu specializes in quality beers and a great selection of other alcoholic – especially whisky – and non-alcoholic drinks.”
Sports & music meet Irish Pub
Music and sports is a common theme in Irish pubs wherever you are, and this is no different at O’Ryans. Every other weekend there is live music and every first Sunday of the morning there are jam sessions. Not a talented musician yourself, eager to perform? No problem, you’re still welcome. Anyone can join and it’s always great fun. “We also have 3 TV screens where we show football or rugby like the World championships now, or any other sports games that are on. We had nights with live music at one end of the pub while people in the other half were watching the football or rugby match. And everyone was having the time of their life, unless the wrong team won, of course.”
There is something for everyone at O'Ryans
O’Ryans specializes in events and often hosts company functions. The international community of Brunssum has O’Ryans high on their list when looking for a venue. But also wedding receptions, family gatherings et cetera are often held at O’Ryans.
“Can you believe that nearly every night we get new customers that come here for the first time? Word is spreading and that is great. We have a Gaelic maxim on the wall: ‘Céad mile fáilte romhaibh’, ‘A hundred thousand times welcome to you all’. That is what people feel when they come here,” Joni says. “Of course, it does help that here in South Limburg, people love to celebrate so we actually fulfil a need,” she adds with a big smile. “On St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March, the famous national holiday of Ireland, the place was packed. Everyone was dressed in green, the national colour of Ireland, we had live music, it was choc-a-block with people.”
Pssst... Did you know that in 2022 O'Ryans was awarded the title 'Best pub in town' by website Restaurant GURU in het category bar/pub and is now nominated for 'Best Cafe/Bar by Nederlandse Horeca Prijzen.
O'Ryans Irish Pub is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 5 p.m.. New staff welcome, no experience needed!