Geoff's Pub, Waterford. Est, 1906.
Geoff's, a family owned pub in Waterford city, is highly successful due to its owner's ability to preserve the heritage of the original grocery bar established by Geoffrey Power, the owner's grandfather, over 100 years ago. Geoff's includes the historic grocery bar, a old bookshop, a compact printing factory, a medieval alley, and a backyard area.
At the time of its opening in 1906, Geoff's pub was situated in a prime location, with the thriving Apple Market right outside its doors and the nearby gathering spot for the jarvey cars that transported passengers from the surrounding areas.The British Army also had a garrison stationed nearby. Farmers from the countryside were frequent visitors to the pub, stopping in to purchase groceries and have a drink while they waited. However, by the 1970s, much of Waterford's commerce had shifted away from John Street towards the Quays, and the Apple Market had lost much of its activity. The pub faced difficult times until Geoff, the second son of the owner Michael Power, returned from Dublin and decided to stay and revitalise the business. Despite initial plans to only stay for a year, he has been there ever since.
The entrance to Geoff's features an original etched glass sign reading 'Groceries and Spirits', reminding visitors that the establishment was once a grocery bar. Upon entering, one is greeted by a large collection of dark woods, slate floors, and an array of sofas, tables, and chairs separated by church like partitions. Each fitting, from the floorboards to the interior details, is unique and adds to the atmosphere.
The main drinking area of Geoff's boasts a variety of tables, including rectangular, square, circular, and oval shapes. One table, dubbed "The United Nations," accommodates fourteen people and attracts a diverse mix of patrons each night. Seating options are diverse, with choices ranging from simple stools, long benches, church pews, sturdy armchairs, to elegant dining chairs.
The back bar area can be reached via a wide red tiled floor and is adorned with railings, paneling, and old frosted windows salvaged from various local schools, hotels, and shops. The walls are adorned with an array of pub memorabilia, including gilded mirrors, vintage Irish advertisements, needlework quotes, antique enamel signs, Irish sporting and political prints, and photographs of Powers family members from earlier generations, as well as a print of Robert Ballagh's Campbell Soups. Unexpectedly placed shelves and dressers display a range of bric-a-brac, vintage port wines, ledger books, headless statues, and memorabilia from the Waterford Instrumental Society. Many of the antiques and pub memorabilia scattered throughout the pub had been used in a performance of Arthur Miller's play "The Price."
The bar counter, made from timbers salvaged from an old bank, sits at the center of the establishment. Much of the furniture has been repurposed, including items from the former Grenville Hotel, panels from Bartons quayside merchant house, antique signs from now closed nearby shops and outfitters, old floorboards from a mill in Graiguenamanagh, and chunky slate flags from a former pub in Portlaw where roughshod tanners once stood.