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Posts Tagged ‘hairy lemon’

At a random guess, we’ve covered approximately seventy pubs in Dublin at this stage and we’ve only just scratched the surface. But nonetheless, there is still fight left in us and we’ll struggle on through Pub Crawls and Random Drop-Inns until we can say finally, when anyone asks “Have you been in such-and- such” that yes, we’ve been there because, well, we’ve been everywhere.

So, with our mission in mind, on the last weekend in June and we hit the streets again. The five regulars met up at Molly Malone, but this pub crawl we had a special guest; we were joined by a good comrade World by Storm from Cedar Lounge Revolution. I was on hand to lead the way, and started by covering old ground. Our first spot was one we had crossed on our travels before, but we didn’t stop for a pint last time, such was the “welcome” we got. I’m glad I decided to give the place a second chance, as we were delighted with the welcome and the pint we got this time around. We were, of course, in McDaids of Harry Street. And while the sun shone down on us on this pub crawl, it was back to Guinness for all of us.

McDaids, by Carly Whelan, from Flickr.

A different day, a different barman and a totally different attitude. Whereas last visit, we were made feel so uncomfortable we left without ordering the pints, this time we were more than happy to stick around, the telly was off, there were plenty of stools for us to plonk ourselves down on, and the Guinness seemed to be the regulars choice. All six of us were happy with the fare, and took to nattering away amongst ourselves, inevitably about archaic Irish politics. McDaids was one of the pubs to take part in the Arthurs Day celebrations last year so I chanced my arm and asked the barman if they had any of the “250” beermats lying around. Smart enough, he asked if I was collecting them to flog them on E-bay, obviously I’m not the first person to have asked; but kindly enough, he disappeared down to the basement and brought back up a stack. Nice one. A pub with great history this, one of those pubs to be mentioned in the same breath as Davy Byrnes, O’ Donoghues and the Baggot Inn, a favoured spot of Behan, O’Brien et al. The pint, at €4.65 was not overly extortionate considering we were just off Grafton Street. Definitely glad we gave this place a second chance, we were sorely tempted to stay for a few but we had four more pubs to go through, and plenty of topics of conversation to cover before the end of the night.

The Hairy Lemon, by the fantastic Infomatique, from Flickr.

So onwards and upwards to our next spot, The Hairy Lemon on Stephen Street. I’ve only ever been here once before, and that was to avail of their well reknowned lunches. But the fare was different today, as was the crowd as six fine pints of Guinness were put up in front of us in a pub free of the shirts and ties that were here last time I was.

Named after a notorious and nefarious 1950’s Dublin dog-catcher, the bar is a throw back to old Dublin. It was used as a location in arguably the best film to come out of this city, and one that depicts it best, Roddy Doyles “The Commitments.” And it hasn’t changed a bit since then; not that you’d want it to either. We stationed ourselves at a big kitchen table down the back of the pub in an area I didn’t notice on my last visit. This place was, in a former life, The Pymalion, a pub with a deep history of its own, being home to the punk and metal scene in 1980’s Dublin. We drank at our leisure, and again, the intricacies of political splits and the history of the Irish music scene were covered and recovered by all, with World by Storm chipping in as if he were a pub crawl regular; his insights and knowlege were very welcome! It was hard not to get comfortable here, and I had to remind our comrades that while the pints (Unfortunately steep at €4.80) were tasty, we had further to venture. Tip of the day for this place; all continental beers are €4… Deal.

Hogans, by 1541, from Flickr.

Futher, but thankfully not too far. Bypassing a couple of places in the vicinity, we headed to our next watering hole, Hogans on South Great Georges Street. An odd place this, it tries to strike the balance between old and new school Dublin, like crossing Brendan Behan with Ross O’Carroll Kelly and they do it quite well actually. Walking in the front door (which is actually around the corner on Fade Street, not far from the recently sad-to-be-missed Road Records) you’re met immediately by a long bar, a mere ten foot away from you. You could be forgiven for thinking that thats all there is, until you walk around the corner and find a duplicate of the bar backing onto it, and another huge area behind, with plenty of seating.

We took our place under a Queens Park Rangers calender, definitely out of place but amusing all the same. This place gets mental on Friday and Saturday nights, when the trendy types roll out and it tends to be wall to wall jammers- but Sunday afternoon pints work here too. The pint was well received, at €4.45 it was well presented and for taste was definitely around the 4/5 mark. It’s very rare you’ll get the 5/5 mark (from me anyways.) While I liked this place, we didn’t stay long, gathering ourselves together and heading Northside, for what is only the second time on the pubcrawls if I remember correctly. Shocking stuff really! But, not too far northside- the next port of call was Jack Nealons pub on Capel Street.

Jack Nealons, by Lilyandthejoh, from Flickr.

I love a pub with an open fire, and although there wasn’t one blazing on that Sunday, I made a mental note to drop back in when the harsh winter kicks in and a pint beckons. After a bit of confusion with us looking like we trying to gatecrash a private party upstairs, we eventually got a perch around a high table by the window, under a telly showing sheep dog trials, bizarre enough but enchanting all the same. Cue everyone looking up at me (the only culchie in the place) “how the f*ck does the dog know what way to go?!” With plenty of hyas and whistles. Mad stuff. The pub itself was established in 1905, and caters for a range of clientele- For while the last time I was here, it was a Friday evening and the place was packed with office workers from the area indulging in the bars impressive cocktail menu, Sunday seemed to be a regulars only affair.

We were joined here by veteran pub crawl part timers DMcHugh and ANagle, and the pints were really starting to flow now. Pints of the night here for me, and as such we ended up staying for more than intended. At €4.20, they were a steal. The place really had a nice feel to it as the evening outside started to dim and time had come for us to depart again and head for our last stop, The Bachelor Inn on Bachelors walk.

The Bachelor Inn, by ClarkeC_99_88, from Flickr.

The Bachelor Inn is what you would call an institution in itself. There are some pubs in the city centre, like Neds on Townsend Street, or Molloys on Talbot Street that seem like they’ve been there for ever. The Bachelor Inn joins those; certainly a regulars bar, but not one ready to turn away eight pint hungry bloggers. The barstaff in the place are top notch- it was getting on by the time we got there, a bit like ourselves to be honest. There was no such thing as just the one or two in here, there were several return trips to the bar. And the best thing about the place? Hitting the magical hour where if drinkers aren’t out of the pubs, they turn into pumpkins, or get their names taken by over- zealous Gardai, the barman made his way up to the back of the pub to ask if we would care to indulge in another beverage. What a man. Of course, the answer was a resounding yes from all concerned. I’d be lying if I said I remember how the night went after that, but before I got to the stage where my memory went out the window, I made up my mind that I liked the Bachelor Inn very much. Deceptively large, it stretches way back towards the Bachelors Lotts behind it. A nice, clean and well run pub too, with plenty of seating up the back. There was a nice buzz about the place too, with plenty of buzz and laughter which, for a fairly tight regulars bar, didn’t quieten down when us shower entered! €4.40 a pint and no complaints, they do a regulars card, for… regulars, and possession of one of these grants you the honour of getting pints for a bargain €4. One to remember!

Right. So five more pubs down, and many more to go. A big shout out to World by Storm, and as ever, our other regulars DFlood, Hammy, ANagle and DMcHugh. We’ll be back soon, and if I remember correctly, pints are on Sam. Nice one.

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