The Gem is a pub like few others. Taking over from what was the Curry Family Hotel in mid-2006, owner Tonino Cordisco transformed the space into a warm watering hole and dining room with a little American rockabilly swagger.
The front bar is cosily cluttered, with framed pictures of American music legends on the walls, cowboy boots, Elvis LPs, Mexican wrestling masks and a ragtime piano against the wall. A small dining area adorned with faux deer antlers is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the front room.
Local DJs hit the vinyl on Saturday nights, and Friday and Sunday evenings see live music take over. Upstairs you'll find impressive large wooden tables, perfect for crowds and large groups, serviced by a cherry-red bar with a retro New Orleans vibe.
The theme was largely inspired by a trip to America, where Tonino discovered a love of Southern barbeque. With the help of the authentic American smoker from Houston, the kitchen offers finger-licking, charry dishes including sticky lamb ribs and fall-apart beef brisket. There are also Mexican-inspired quesadillas and gumbos as well as traditional pub grub, including burgers and fish and chips.
Beer is the main focus of the bar, with 16 on tap, though a concise wine list and small collection of cocktails offer more variety. Frozen margaritas are available in summer, while the winter months see mulled wine delivered in steaming glasses. It's these little touches that make The Gem warm and welcoming, just like a good local should be.