*Editor's Note: Welcome to season two of Mike Farragher's "TAYSHT" series, his column and podcast exploring Irish America's culture and food. You can read the previous installment here.

For any Irish or Irish Americans of a certain age growing up in the TriState area in the American Northeast, the Irish Catskills conjure up fond memories of family bonding and culture building. 

Working Irish families like mine would head up the New York State Thruway and through the mountain roads to reach East Durham and the endless Irish-themed inns that lined Route 145. Back in the 70s, when my family frequented the place, the pubs would serve drinks and Irish singsongs for those lonesome for a taste of home.

My memories go back to Gavin’s Irish Country Inn and their rollicking pub nights; fiddles, flutes, spontaneous ceili dances, and sticky Shirley Temples for the kids to spike their sugar levels on the dance floor. 

I returned to Gavin’s with my family for the first time in almost 40 years last September, and that’s where I meet Bernadette Gavin Palmieri. Despite more than a couple of boarded-up hotels from yesteryear along East Durham’s artery road, Gavin's has been keeping the Irish Catskills traditions alive.

The Gavins have been known for their fine Irish hospitality, which has baked into their famous scone, soda bread, and brown breads. Bernadette’s tip: melted butter in the soda bread, diced butter for the scones! 

Yes, you can get their excellent box mixes of these in many grocery stores, but there’s nothing quite like savoring the soda bread in the Inn's iconic tea room. 

Posted by Gavins Irish Country Inn on Thursday, August 25, 2022

In this week’s installment of TAYSHT, I interview Bernadette on the Inn's history, the Irish scene of yesteryear, and how Gavin’s is riding the resurgent wave of new interest in the Catskills region. 

Check out the latest TAYSHT podcast, featuring Bernadette Gavin Palmieri, here and over on Spotify

Gavin’s Irish Country Inn is brimming with activity for every member of your family, from bonfire singalongs to rock climbing walls for the kids and of course, live entertainment in their famous pub. Gavin’s is an excellent place to host family reunions, and clans from near and far gather poolside to make new memories. To make a reservation or to get more information, visit the Gavin's Irish Country Inn Facebook page or website.

Mike Farragher is a playwright, filmmaker, novelist, and podcaster. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brainonshamrox, or visit his website MikeFarragher.com.