Highlights Food and Drink
While by no means a hugely remarkable pub just yet, the Jug is indicative of the changing face of this part of the Liberties.
Roddy Doyle Facebook posts unfurling in real time. If it’s a quiet one you’re after, you could do much, much worse.
I’ve been assured by relations of the correct vintage that the doorway does indeed function as a wormhole to the oft-eulogised days of yore.
The bar within a bar has emerged as an ultra niche micro-genre in Dublin
Shiver me timbers, I’m in a boat!
Akin to a steampunk TGI Fridays with a sterilely insincere, suffocating ambience to match.
Playing on the bar’s ownership by FX Buckley’s, the Bull and Castle has doubled down on taxidermy, butcher’s tiles, a plethora of weighing scales and chalkboards on the walls declaring the specialness of all their offerings: their oysters, their rum, their gin, their beer.
If you were expecting high-end sandwiches and the potential to have an afternoon tipple at the expense of the rest of your working day, I suspect that Probus Wines would be an absolute treat of an afternoon.
I would have eaten a flatbread, had I not eaten a hoagie in Gutterball, through which you have to pass to enter Thundercut Alley.
Lincoln’s retains its lofty reputation not for whatever contemporary action it hosts but through it’s association with the romanticised Dublin of yore.
One hopes with the benefit of time or a few tweaks the Hill will eventually make its mark. For the moment at least, it boasts promise of much else ahead.
The slightly tepid vibe downstairs aside, I can’t help but fall for this place and feel that it’s their excellence as a venue that Arthur’s should be trumpeting when it’s their turn to step up to the mic.
Idlewild is a very pretty bar, and it even boasts an extremely bright staircase on the way up from the toilets, which makes you feel slightly like you’re ascending to the afterlife, potentially to hang out with another dead Quaker businessman.
It is rare for a pub’s greatest selling point to be its carpark but O’Shea’s Dodder-adjacent sun-trap seemed to be the establishment’s primary draw over the last few years.
If you want to feel as though you’re inhabiting a feverish, half-remembered scene from the middle act of Orson Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai, there are worse places.
Judging by the obvious rapport between the staff and the handful of other patrons propping up the bar, the “mate’s gaff” ambiance was the first thing successfully installed, comfortably established before the smell of fresh paint had dissipated.
One can only hope that T O’Brennan’s, aside from being one of the city’s best new pubs, will act as a beacon of good sense to other publicans, an exemplifier of the notion that, to borrow a tawdry phrase, evolution need not mean revolution.
There’s no way to meaningfully do justice to the rest of the characters we met or even the evening we had in The Confession Box. If anything, the authenticity of The Confession Box and those that drink there, remains its most compelling reason to visit.