Sunday, 13 January 2019

N0147 The Ivy House

This was an angry blue pin in a sea of green in the area on my secondary map - the one I use to decide where to go for pints, rather than my historic map. I'd drunk in every pub and hotel bar in this area but had not yet visited here. My partner, however, has been here frequently - but this isn't a collaborative effort, not yet anyway.

The pub is split it two by the bar - I think you can possibly go between the two sides internally, but I'm not sure. One side is the more youth oriented Ivy and the other is the more older regulars styled Patrick McCarthys. But they are one pub with one licence so I don't have to visit both separately.

The Ivy has a mixed range of conventional macro and craft beers on offer. There is a DJ box on the stairs, but no dancefloor - and the positioning of the DJ box is rather odd as when you go up the stairs there are toilets and nothing else. It seems to be targetting a student crowd from the DCU Drumcondra/St Pats Campus across the road, but as its the middle of the exams it wasn't massively busy from that source.

N0172 The Comet

The former sister pub to the previously visited Viscount, this pub seems busier - possibly due to its location in Santry village rather than the (currently) less densely populated surrounds down in Whitehall.

Sports on TV seems to be the main draw here - I counted 16 TVs, showing about 8 different channels, throughout the bar. The frontage of the pub to the street is narrowed by its off-licence (which is actually quite good) and its takeaway pizza hatch, but the pub itself is quite large.

A mis-overhearing of our conversation lead to a chat with one of the regulars, who imparted a substantial amount of local historical information. He encouraged us to borrow his 2007 book from a local library although it seems to have more fiction short stories than anything else. Its available in nearly all City Council and some Fingal libraries should you want to; I'll certainly take a look when suitable.

We bought takeaway pizza on leaving here - my own one of the 4 bought was the only one where they managed to slightly burn it; and then completely neglect to cut it either. It was still perfectly edible though.

N0141 The Viscount

Once one of a chain of three aviation-named pubs (N0172 The Comet, review incoming; and N1040 The Goose - formerly called The Pilot), The Viscount is now owned by the family of someone I went to school with. Despite that I had never actually managed to haul myself out here to drink, even though I passed it on the bus twice a day for months working in British Telecom in the last decade. That's been finally resolved now anyway.

A relatively narrow but long pub, the lounge is on the Swords Road end and the bar at the rear end - the reverse of what you'd expect, but it is possible that the bar gets custom from the housing estate behind. That housing estate was originally, oddly, built to be an urban Gaeltacht in the 1920s or so, but you'll have to trust me on that as I read it in a book that isn't online and may have got confused about it.

We sat down towards the front of the lounge, which was mostly empty at the time; but then got joined by a substantial amount of the Whitehall Celtic team - ten of them - in matching tracksuits to watch the end of the Brighton - Liverpool game. This was down to the size of the projection TV at this end of the bar rather than any amazing punditry we could provide, so they moved down the pub after the final whistle.

This is a fairly standard older suburban pub, but with a slight oddity caused by having a Chinese restaurant upstairs. The food menu - stuck to the windows rather than on the tables - shows more normally pub grub style lunchtime options, and then evening options which are generally the more simple dishes from the restaurant upstairs with less of the "traditional" options you may expect.

N0123 Beaumont House

Its odd to find a pub quite so heavily adorned with Guinness memorabilia, documents and logo usage anywhere other than one hoping to get tourists in the door within a few minutes walk of the Storehouse; but there is probably more valid a claim here than any other. Arthur himself lived in the area, in a still mostly extant house which was held the name the pub now uses. So they get a pass to use it.

A substantial corner building, this pub has a large off licence, huge food-oriented lounge and a small bar. We opted for the bar. Apparently this is now one of Bertie Ahern's haunts - and lo and behold, there is a Bass tap on the counter. Many years ago I used to go to gigs and clubnights all across the UK so the more traditional ale is something I'm fairly used to, and Rye River's Retro IPA is an occasional visitor to my fridge - I'm actually drinking one while writing this. This meant I didn't need to look much further for my beer option here.

A pint was obtained and met my expectations. The bar is a bit chaotically laid out, and mainly seems to be for watching sports - I'm not sure where you'd go here of a weekend afternoon if you wanted neither Premier League football (or horse racing) or the smell of carvery food though.

N0748 Kilmardinny Inn

I was slightly concerned when this large pub with parking went up for sale in 2017 that it would be bought for apartment, retail (or both) development - as has befallen many pubs in similar situations in recent years and also in the Tiger era - indeed, it survived a plan from then to do just that. However, after a brief refit it has reopened and is fully trading, hopefully with a secured future.

A relatively unusual looking building, I would assume it is contemporaneous to the nearby houses as an early 50s build. This area of Dublin is one of the earlier suburbs built with car ownership expected, with garages on many houses and a big carpark for the pub and adjacent shops.

Internally, the pub is quite traditional although everything is clean and in good condition. The main part of the pub is very significant in size with some sub-division in to bar and lounge areas; probably more to divide what sports programming is on more than anything else.

My drinking partner for the afternoon had been in the function room area for local meetings, andsaid that the regulars here were the "bingo crowd"; but turned out to quite like the pub after visiting properly. Its a fairly standard older suburban pub but seems well run, with an acceptable range of drinks and atmosphere. Hopefully it remains as a pub rather than development land - the carpark might be separable if they really wanted to.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Planning permission trawl

I did a planning permission trawl this evening - I did the same about this time least but forgot to write about it - which turned up a few things of interest outside the city centre but still within scope. This was the three Dublin County Councils - I check the City planning a lot more frequently as far more changes happen

Coupled with some local Facebook group digging and hitting the relatively fresh Google Streetview images I've managed to get status updates on a few pubs as well as end up with some more questions.

1001214 The Traders in Walkinstown is now definitely closed and possibly even demolished by this stage - the intent is to reopen the pub in a new apartment and retail development on the site. There was an extensive derelict site adjacent here.

In Skerries, I found out that Dg0493 Raff's On The Corner closed in December 2017 and I can't track if anything has opened since. Additionally, Dg0496 The Black Raven across the road has active planning permission to convert to residential housing, but I'm not sure if this closed. Skerries is going to require at least two trips to visit all the pubs there, even with some closures over the past few years, so I might have to just go and do the first soon.

Permission was applied for, and then refused, to convert the long-closed S3982 O'Donohues on Blackrock Main Street to a cafe over the summer. I believe it still lies empty.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

January 2019 Licence Update

Small enough amount of new data this month

New licences:
1014840 The Devlin Hotel, Ranelagh

N2581 The Brass Fox, Tallaght - this was Madison and Blu Bar, appears to have re-opened in September. Quite how this has a legacy Northside (N) licence number I'm not sure!

1014863 The Yacht, Clontarf - renumbered from N0127