BY SEÁN P. FEENY
THIS weekend a very popular bar and restaurant celebrates its 25th anniversary with a fantastic weekend of live music and food – the two things its renowned for.
On July 1, 1988 Breege Mackey and her late husband Jose took the big plunge into the bar trade when they took over the Bridge Bar in Ramelton.
Over the past quarter of a century the family business has gone from strength to strength and is now managed by Brid’s son Gavin.
When you ask people around North Donegal about the best bars for live music, The Bridge is sure to be one of the venues topping that list.
Gavin said: “We have been running gigs for a long time. It was years back when some local musicians suggested to us to host live gigs.
“Since then we have had big names such as Henry McCullough ( Paul McCartney & Wings), Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) and Brian Kennedy, who brought a tear to everyone’s eye in the pub with his rendition of Carrickfergus, grace the stage.”
This weekend the bar has an impressive line-up of music featuring old friends and new, such as The Chuckberries (plus guests), who are made up music who have been playing at the Bridge since Day One and Dono’s Blues Band who are coming all the way from Germany.
The festivities will come to a close on Sunday with a firm favourite, renowned Letterkenny musician Ted Ponsonby and his all-star line-up, The Famesuckers.
The Bridge is also renowned for its food. In 1995 the proprietors teamed up with Chef Gerard McFadden to open a restaurant upstairs as a new project at the time.
18 years on Gerard is still running the kitchen and The Bridge has firmly established itself for bar food and the restaurant with top quality seafood, all locally sourced.
“Since the restaurant at The Bridge first opened in 1995 it has gone from strength to strength and built up a great reputation and we will have food all weekend.
“The Bridge’s long-term success is very much down to our very loyal patrons and we would like to take this opportunity thank them for all their support over the past 25 years and we hope to see you all this weekend to celebrate out anniversary,” Gavin said.
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