Tuesday, 26 September 2023

S0187 Dropping Well

Getting here required a bit of a walk to the Luas, followed by a bit of a walk from the Luas - it may have been better to do this on one of the days I have a driver. But this was somewhere I wanted to tick off as I'd been almost here so many times before. And I would have a few pints in me before doing the uphill bit on the way back.

During the early days of the 2020 lockdowns, when I worked in one of the 'essential worker' jobs that didn't have the risk and resultant attention that the more obvious ones had (as a side note, every job I've had since 2006 in three very different sectors all fell on the essential worker list, and not one of them was the obvious ones like medical, logistics or retail - which feels odd somehow), I used to meet with other staff and exchange work-from-home equipment with them in the large carpark here.

All those days sitting in the carpark and handing over computers, monitors, mixing desks etc (I was working in broadcasting at the time) looking at the forbidden premises beside us meant that it got towards the top of my ticking list; but the relative isolation from public transport left it unvisited - there is a bus stop right outside, but it is only served by a useless, one direction each peak service.

Like the other Charlie Chawke pubs, there's a few 'house' craft beers on tap as well as O'Haras; and an extensive food menu. The huge carpark makes it easy enough to come here for grub; and its worth the walk from the Luas for pints.

Sunday, 24 September 2023

1015300 Elephant and Castle

Like many McKillen venues, this really fails the duck test for being a pub; but it has a full licence - inherited from the famed McGowans /Braemor Rooms / County Club pub and venue that previously sat here. However, one of my draft rules for 'what is a pub' is whether somewhere has regulars, and this E&C does.

I sat outside the 'pub' to have my overpriced pint of Italian-branded lager (I'm not sure where Moretti sold here is actually made); and was joined at the outside tables by a middle aged woman who knew the staff and clearly came here frequently for a wine and a view of a carpark.

The most interesting part of this trip was that there's a pharmacy next door with a VERY LOUD door opening alert for the staff - which happens to sound like someone playing the SCNF (French train company) announcement jingle on an 80s keyboard

You do need to have heard it over a worn out station tannoy system to notice the resemblance I suspect. And you can just go in to the pharmacy rather than pay over the odds for booze here to do so; and if you want a pint here I'd suggest you go to the sites of my previous or next writeups instead.

Tuesday, 19 September 2023

S0260 Bottle Tower

This pub was one of the first to reopen during the time I've been doing this project, in late 2016; and that reopening came with a locally controversial door policy that seems to have excluded many locals. However on the evening I turned up, there were no door staff and I can only assume this has been sorted out.

It was a tad hard to get service at the large wraparound bar in the centre, but the vast tap space that offers does result in there being lots of taps and some more interesting things on offer than you might expect in suburbia - the nearby Churchtown Stores also has good craft taps though.

The upstairs space here has internal branding as "The Big Gnu", or possibly "The Big GNU" if it is actually a free software themed pub... but as there isn't a single reference online to this name anywhere, I can but guess

Another oddity here was that I was handed a free pint by promo staff - for Draught Corona - for the first time in many, many years. I did think that MUP would kill this off, but lets not mention that to the neo-prohibitionists...

Wednesday, 13 September 2023

1015320 Churchtown Stores

This former hardware store closed in 2018, but the premise retains its name (on a replica 80s facade) for what is now a gastropub operated by a branch of the noted Coman publican family.

The body-shattering quantities of food that I was served (for quite a reasonable price), including what clearly had to be nachos for four or more, sold as starter for a single person; and a hefty burger and chips might make me think more gastric bypass than gastropub; but the quality was good.

There's some craft offerings on the taps here and its a nice enough environment; and by foreshadowing the next review, its much nicer than the next nearest place with a full pub licence (that you may not consider a pub) too.

Monday, 11 September 2023

S0230 The Yellow House

Unlike the previous pub where I can't remember much of the pub itself; I remember a lot more of my visit to the Yellow House, primarily due to getting in to a conversation with the barman and a regular about where to get replacement car keys made. The glamourous chats that I have as I tick off my list.

An imposing, and I would say a tad English looking externally, purpose built pub of the Victorian era - which has much of its interior intact, but presumably not enough to get on those lists of Dublin Victorian Pubs. The listing on the NIAH includes some details on the construction and architecture. 

Although, its non-standing as one of the "classic" Victorian pubs might be that it's actually too damn old -SDCC Libraries claim the first record of a pub here is 1798 and that the existing buildings are actually 1825. They look rather newer than that to me, however; but there are other dates pre the 1837 Victorian cut-off given elsewhere such as 1827 in this Times article.

Regardless of whether is late Georgian or Victorian; or excluded from "the list" of Victorian pubs for another reason, its worth visiting. Any pub where a first time drinker can get chatting to the locals and the barman about absolute nonsense usually is.

Friday, 8 September 2023

S0227 Revels

I've occasionally mentioned smells in bars before, from the negative (damp) to the positive (pepper sauce, albeit it made me leave the bar before I ate entire second dinner and/or asked for a pint of pepper sauce instead of beer). The smell outside Revels sort of falls in to both camps - somehow, the only note of the plumes of smoke emanating from a few smokers sitting outside that were coming towards me on my way up to the pub were the nice bits, the ones that people think of when claiming a whiskey or red wine has 'notes of tobacco'. I suspect they were Bensons, as they're the only one I think I can recognise via that note.

Weirdly, that entire thing ended up being more memorable than the pub itself at this stage - these writeups are a few months behind, and while I wrote some small notes in the stub article for every other pub that day; I didn't here. Whoops. 

At this time, this is the only one of the three bars that were on Rathfarnham Main Street that's actually open. The adjacent pub - most recently S0228 Ton Tin - is closed and across the road, the former S1268 Sarahs is now a kids play centre, despite its licence occasionally popping back on the register in the decade or so that it has been closed. 

Monday, 4 September 2023

Revisited pubs, August 2023

Bit of a mix of revisits in August 2023

S3908 The Well - regular meeting venue

N0097 Underdog, Capel Street - this can now take a regular place in my visits

N0063 Cumiskeys, Dominick Street - as can this if I mis-time my Luas+train connection after leaving Underdog.

N0313 Kealys, Cloghran - the default work event pub now.

57 The Headline - a final visit before the operators move