It seems like January never ends. It’s cold and it’s messy, but there is a certain pride one takes in enduring the elements on a rock in the middle of the Atlantic. Sometimes the best place to get-in-out-of-it and warm yourself is a downtown pub. However, if you can’t get to your favourite Local, bring it home instead.

Two beer, one light and one dark, sit in the foreground on a bar in an Irish pub.

Bridie Molloy’s

Sometimes you just want to go to the pub, hear a squeezebox, and eat too many appetizers. Sometimes you want to do that but also not leave the house. On all fronts, Bridie Molloy’s has you covered.

The outside of Bridie Molloy's, looking cheerful and welcoming on a winter's evening.

The entire menu at Bridie’s is available for take-out, but it was the shareables we were after on this pub night at home. Bridie Molloy’s is operating on Skip the Dishes for ordering, and the food arrived nice and hot to the west end of the city. Veggie nachos, maple Cajun chicken wings, and deep fried mozza sticks graced our table and gave all the happy-hour feelings George Street has to offer.

A table is filled with nachos, mozza sticks, and wings with multiple dipping sauces on the side.

Quidi Vidi — Darkstar

Coffee and beer make wonderful bedfellows and, multi-time winner of the QVxNF collaboration brews, Ralph Pike proves this point with the Darkstar, his submission for the 2021 Newfermenters HomeBrew Club mash-up with Quidi Vidi.

A can of Dark Star is held in the foreground with a cozy looking living room in the back.

Darkstar is an English Style Bitter (ESB), but don’t let the term fool you; ESB’s have a malty sweetness for balance. The coffee pairing was perfected in consultation with Darkstar Coffee Roasters in Carbonear—hence the name!

A can of Dark Star is poured into a glass. Both are sitting on a cutting board in the kitchen.

Kyle Gryphon: Isolation/Desolation

I had the pleasure of meeting Kyle at a birthday party for a 1 year old little boy named Forrest. Within minutes, it was clear that he was a genuine, old soul who believes in hard work and telling stories. The first line of his NL Folk Arts Society bio page describes him as a “musician and construction worker,” and that might be the most romantic thing I have ever heard.

You can barely see Kyle peeking out from behind his album, Desolation. He's holding it up in front of him.

Kyle has released two pandemic albums: the aptly named Isolation in 2020, followed by Desolation in 2021. Written off the grid on the Southern Shore of the Avalon, the songs are steeped deeply in the NL traditional folk style, with accordion, banjo, and harmonica driving Kyle’s narrative melodies. With their stripped-down recording, they are beautiful, haunting folk albums that will put you in a dimly lit pub surrounded by vagabonds, rovers, and storytellers, and make you feel right at home. Here is Kyle and his partner Kady playing “Green Table Waltz,” recorded at O’Brien’s Music on Water St. in St. John’s.

Black and white album cover for Isolation

Sure It's Only Early...

You’ve had your dinner. The beer is setting in and the music has you wanting to chase the night from the comforts of home. Luckily, the music scene in St. John’s has been making it work through the pandemic, and you can bar hop like it’s George Street Festival 2018 across all the streams available from local venues and personal artist pages.

The best place to find out where you can see it all, either in person or online, is through the social media accounts of NL Live Events. Glenn Pardy, founder and curator, collects every music event happening in the city in one place to make decisions that much harder.

Yeaton Smith has lived in the West End of St. John’s for 13 years. He is a father and a friend, and is a member of the bands The Old Contemporaries and Double Denim.

Published: January 21, 2022