In a story recently brought into the spotlight by the Irish Independent [source], a family-run bar in Northern Ireland has captured the hearts of millions with its poignant Christmas advert. Charlie’s Bar in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, has become an unexpected viral sensation, with their festive advert amassing over six million views online.
The advert, which showcases an elderly man with a somber expression walking alone through town before finding warmth and companionship in Charlie’s Bar, has struck a chord with viewers around the world. Una Burns, the manager of Charlie’s Bar, expressed her astonishment at the overwhelming response to their creation. She shared with the PA news agency how the pub, a humble local establishment, aimed to create a Christmas message that resonated with the true spirit of the season.
Highlighting the loneliness and challenges some face during the festive period, the advert was born from the bar’s own experiences. Burns revealed that on Christmas morning, when the bar opens its doors, it often welcomes individuals who seek companionship and a place to belong.
Social media users have been quick to praise the advert, with many comparing it favorably to the more widely known John Lewis Christmas adverts. Comments on social media platforms have been overwhelmingly positive, with some users even admitting to being moved to tears by the touching story.
The legacy of Charlie’s Bar, steeped in family history with Burns’ father and grandfather both having been proprietors, adds another layer of depth to this heartwarming tale. The success of their first major advert has set high expectations for the future, as Burns contemplates making this an annual tradition.
With its simple yet powerful message, Charlie’s Bar’s Christmas advert not only sheds light on the often overlooked aspects of the holiday season but also demonstrates the impact a small local business can have in spreading a message of kindness and community.
The Story of Charlie’s Bar
Charlie’s Bar, a cherished traditional pub in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, holds a rich history and a special place in the heart of its community.
- Monday- Wednesday: 11.30am – 11pm
- Thursday- Saturday: 11.30am – 1am
- Sunday: 12.30am – 1am
The story of Charlie’s Bar began in 1944 when it was established by Charlie Burns. Initially, the establishment was known as The White Star Bar. Charlie Burns was a dedicated proprietor who served a diverse clientele, including farmers, locals, and American troops stationed nearby at Castle Archdale during World War II. This period marked the beginning of a long-standing tradition of hospitality and community spirit that would define Charlie’s Bar for decades to come.
In May 1982, a significant transition occurred when Gerry Burns, Charlie’s son, took over the ownership of the bar from his father. Gerry decided to rename the bar in honor of his father, thus giving it its current name, Charlie’s Bar. This change signified not only a continuation of the family legacy but also a renewed commitment to maintaining the bar’s status as a central hub for the community and a place where everyone, locals and visitors alike, could feel at home.
The Burns family’s commitment to Charlie’s Bar has been unwavering over the years. Gerry, after taking over from Charlie, embarked on a major refurbishment, modernizing the pub while preserving its traditional charm. In more recent years, the baton of management has been passed to Una Burns, Gerry’s daughter. Under Una’s management, the pub continues to thrive, maintaining its reputation as one of Enniskillen’s most established and oldest family-run bars. The pub is renowned for its warm, traditional atmosphere, which includes live music, live sports broadcasting, an open fire, and free Wi-Fi, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
Throughout its history, Charlie’s Bar has been more than just a place to enjoy a pint. It has been a cornerstone of the Enniskillen community, a place where friendships are formed and memories are made. Its legacy, nurtured by three generations of the Burns family, is a testament to the enduring appeal of traditional Irish pubs and the important role they play in the fabric of local communities.