Thursday, 16 May 2019

1008060 Green Hen

There is a trend recently of higher-end Dublin restaurants obtaining pub licences to allow them to offer drinks to those who may not be eating (and minorly irritate me be adding premises that may require bookings). I had noticed this myself, with premises like 1014271 Dunne & Crescenzi adding a licence to a long-established restaurant, but it had already been called out in the Morrisseys 2017-8 review of the licenced trade in Dublin, so its probable I'd even read and forgot that before re"discovering" the trend

The Green Hen is one of these places. There are some pubs that work primarily as a restaurant, but this actually is a restaurant - you really won't get in here for just drinks normally; which does make the use of a pub licence a bit odd. However, it was absolutely dead in Dublin on the day I visited; so there was space at the bar and there were also some customers sitting outside also just drinking.

The beer selection is minimal; with cocktails, spirits - primarily a decent whiskey range - and and a very significant wine list making up the rest of the options. But realistically, you'll be going here for the food if you do - I just opportunistically jumped in when I realised they weren't busy!

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

S0123 Grogan's

After a few recent fake-retro pubs - including one blogged further up South William Street, or a re-visit snapped on my Instagram (actually, as I write these posts after the fact, this was about a week before the photos was taken) - its nice to actually get to write about a properly traditional one.

Grogan's has an interior that's relatively untouched for 40 years or more - the dark wood and leatherette having been maintained but not torn out during this time period.

The fake-retro pub in Dublin annoys me greatly - they never emulate what they intend to well and instead give you a limited pastiche of what is still available elsewhere. The walls of many of the fakes are covered either with random tat bought from a pub interiors wholesaler or cheap prints; but Grogan's has artworks for sale instead. There are also more drink options in Grogan's available than in some of the fakes - where authenticity is aped by not offering much more than the Diageo/Heineken/C&C core.

The beer I consumed here was Persistence Brewing's P60 - and I will admit that it is only after looking at the website that I've realised that the PXX naming system includes the ABV% of the beer and isn't (necessarily anyway) a joke on Revenue forms - having only ever seen P45 and P60 before.

Their logo includes a Dublin address, and the beer name includes Dublin - but they are not currently made in Dublin, but in Kilmallock in Limerick. The macro brewers do this too, of course - "Roundstone", "Kilkenny", etc.

One oddity of this visit was one specific sticker that had been placed in the toilets. Stickers on vending machines, hand dryers and other suitable surfaces are relatively common in certain pubs; with some blogs, and football teams - both League of Ireland and European - being the most common ones I've noticed. This one, however, encouraged animal sacrifice to a 00's TV presenter... who at least appeared to find it funny.

Friday, 10 May 2019

1005429 Barts

This is quite a new pub, taking over the premises of the former Eden on South William Street. 

Significantly larger than you might expect from the outside, and decorated in a modern but tasteful (for newer pubs in D2!) manner, food seems to be the primary purpose here during the day - to the point that I felt that I had to ask if I could just order drinks; even though there were already other customers clearly doing just that. However, they have DJs later on - and there's plenty of floor space between the tables for standing at least if it does get that busy.

There was a decent range of drinks available - particularly in comparison to the last pub - and everything is in good condition - particularly in comparison to the last pub!

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

S4097 Johnny Rush's

This is a faux-traditional pub in the shell of what was a boomtime, southside bar with all the accompanying fixtures and fittings.

The name was just Rush then, maybe appropriate for Dublin in the last boom. And the 'renovation' was certainly a rush job - the toilets still date from then it seems; both in style and in equipment - everything worn, little working fully. There is a comical coaxial cable join feeding one of the TVs, done in a manner that shows it was done by someone who knew how to make it work but didn't care enough to run out to Decwells and spend a few quid on some proper connectors.

Totally Dublin reviewed it, in 2015, and had much the same experience to me. My personal highlight was seeing they have the same 1990s seaside print on the wall as my parents have above their fireplace - which doesn't really set the tone for somewhere I intend to drink!

May 2019 Licence Update

Nothing too huge this month

Additions:

1015320 Churchtown Stores - new pub in Churchtown replacing a former hardware store of the same name
N0185 39/40, Arran Quay - this has been off the register for years in what is likely an admin error as its been open most of the time; this is its original number from decades ago also.

Renumbered
1015300 Union Cafe Churchtown from S0256

Thursday, 2 May 2019

S0110 International Bar

This was next up on my Easter Sunday trip to visit pubs that are normally very busy. The International is a fairly small premises with a big reputation in a high traffic area; and is normally rammed; but there were tables available with the relative quiet that afternoon.

This quietness was to be repeated in every pub I visited, with the exception of S3903 Pygmalion, which was sufficiently busy to have doorstaff with counters on, and which I skipped for some winter weekday evening instead!

The International is on the oft-repeated list of "real" Victorian pubs in original condition, and meets most of the expectations for one. There is a TV, but it was on silent; and its normally off in most photos I've seen

The pub is mostly known for its comedy nights, 7 nights a week, which are actually upstairs despite one long-running night being called The Comedy Cellar; and live music either in the basement or the main bar depending on the event or style. I think the proper atmosphere would need to be sampled on a night where there is something going on both upstairs and downstairs; and with the ground floor bar busy - but its both easier to get in to pubs when they're quiet; and easier to drag myself away!

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

1004780 & S4458 Fleet Street Hotel

This is my second-last twofer of a premises, having a hotel licence and a standard publicans licence (with some overlap in described location) which I suspect is from the days of the basement nightclub being run completely separately.

The current bar here, Cafe 1920, is usually crammed every time I go past - at any time of day or night - and generally has a security guard in the doorway. I visited on Easter Sunday afternoon - and it was empty without any security. It isn't very large - the former bars here were larger, but the basement seems to be out of use and possibly some space has been given over to the TGI Fridays next door. That is also covered by this licence, but I've really had enough of TGI Fridays food at this stage!

The bar has been recently renovated and is quite snazzy, although probably more targeting a food audience than pure drinking. Its also likely to be entirely full of tourists on busier days.