Wednesday, 9 October 2019

1014121 Lucky Duck

The Press Up Group gets quite a bit of negative media coverage for just how many venues they have opened in Dublin; reaching out across the majority of the city centre - and now the southern suburbs - in a relatively short period of time; and tying it to the wider cultural loss issues in the city.

The most detailed piece of writing on it that I've seen was in the Sunday Business Post - which is paywalled online - so I can't link you to it; but it contained a short statement by a representative for Press Up pointing out that many of their new venues were derelict rather than replacing something else active. And this is the case with The Lucky Duck.

The Aungier House pub on this site operated for over a century; but closed in the late 1990s and rapidly fell in to significant dereliction. Press Up acquired the premises in the late 2010s and announced it was to reopen as "The Dutch Billy", a reference to a type of house construction which was once common on Aungier Street. There was one problem with that name however - this is a Victorian replacement building!

Many Dutch Billys had their distinctive roofs covered or replaced to give the then-fashionable squarer lines - an example of an actual Dutch Billy here shows that - so its an easy enough mistake to make; and one that was corrected before opening. But not before the interior fitout had begun; as a major element of the decoration are "KLM Houses", knick-knacks handed out to business class customers on KLM. These are supplied containing Bols Genever; and according to the barman I spoke to, the ones filling a display window and scattered around the bar are all full.

There is a surprising amount of Victoriana to the interior here; although what is original and what is repro or recovered from elsewhere I don't know. The gents toilets - situated under the street with a skylight in the pavement - are full of what must be original fittings restored to a functional level at least.

The drinks offerings are similar to other Press Up venues; but its both smaller and less forced "Instagram Ready" as their other ones, so even if you dislike those it may be worth a visit.

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