Though situated in Monglass, Newtowncunningham, the Argony Pipe Bar held great significance for the people of St Johnston. It was close to St Johnston and involved in its history and the history of its people.
The bar was opened in 1848 and was the first licensed premises in the area. It was licenced to Watts Brewery in Derry who got a 99 Year Lease. The next 99 Year Lease was issued to Leo McGurk in 1947. He sold the premises to Charlie Clarke and to an associate named Paddy Brogan.
It closed in February 2011. The owners were Oliver and Frances Clarke. Oliver is Charlie Clarke's son. Oliver bought the pub in May 1985.
The smoking ban has caused a great decline in pub takings all over the country. Another factor is the cheap alcohol deals that are available in the supermarkets. The recession came as the final nail in the coffin for many pubs and the shutters came down for the last time.
The whole area was appalled at the events at the pub on April 23 1989. An armed robbery took place and shots had been fired in the pub.
This pub was a haven of peace during the troubles as Derry people liked to come out to it to escape the horrors and strife of those times. It helped bring a Southern community and a Northern community together.