Ballymena's newest cocktail and sports bar, The Smoking Monkey, is a space like no other in the heart of this bustling market shopping town.
Restored as part of The Grouse Complex development in 2018, the original character has been retained of what was previously an old stone stable block and courtyard.
The Smoking Monkey can be accessed internally through The Grouse Restaurant & Bar or externally via the Monkey Plaza, the only Licenced Pavement Café in town.
The large monkeys adorning the entrance, created by an artisan metalworker on the famous Game of Thrones® sets, are popular for a selfie by locals as well as tourists.
The monkey theme continues upon entering the multi-level bar with comfortable leather seating and wing-back armchairs, and, of course adorned with huge screens throughout for those sports fans. Reclaimed features, including the wooden floor from a World War II RAF base, huge bottle displays made from wood from the Titanic Shipyard and wooden pump boxes from an old Amish barn in America, make this place different and more interesting.
Premium beers, spirits and cocktails as well as a bite to eat from the tasty food menu can also be enjoyed in the two quirky outdoor areas or alternatively, alfresco at the Monkey Plaza.
With live entertainment in the bar each evening from Thursday to Sunday and resident and guest DJs in the adjacent Origin Nightclub (Northern Ireland’s Nightclub of the Year 2019) every Friday and Saturday night, it is easy to see why it is Ballymena’s preferred dining and entertainment location.