Posts Tagged ‘pubs’

Once a staple of this here blog, our “monthly” pub crawls have become somewhat sporadic of late. We only managed to fit in five last year, the last taking place all the way back in June, making it 114 pubs that we’ve visited on the crawls alone. Add in another 30 pubs or so that we’ve done on “Random Drop Inns,” I make it that (including the five pubs here) we’ve visited and reviewed 149 pubs in the city.

The back story… for anyone that doesn’t know the story by this stage, once a month or so the three writers behind this blog, joined by a small group of friends, visit five Dublin pubs and then write about our experiences. A different person each month picks the five pubs and makes sure not to give away any details beforehand. This month was my turn, and for the first pub crawl of 2013, I decided to drag people out to Ringsend, from where we could make our way back into town, stopping in a couple of spots along the way.  I’ve always loved Ringsend; standing on Bridge Street, you’re a fifteen minute walk to Grafton Street and less than that to Sandymount Strand. Perfect.

The Oarsman, from their official Facebook.

The Oarsman, from their official Facebook

Meeting the other two and KBranno in town at five, a Leo Burdocks and a taxi in the lashing rain later, we headed over the canal and into The Oarsman. A very busy spot this and my first impression was that… Christ, this place is a relic; but in a good way! The pub doesn’t appear to have changed too much inside or out for donkey’s years. There has been a business on this spot since 1882, and a pub here since the sixties. The original grocers shop became the snug area inside the door (where we were lucky to nab seats, kudos to Paul R for that,) and the pub was extended out the back. A long narrow layout means ordering a pint from the beautiful old wooden bar is awkward enough. The stairs down to the jacks is halfway along it on the right, meaning if the seats at the bar are taken and you’re ordering, chances are you’re blocking someone’s way. Nonetheless, we weren’t left waiting and ended up staying for a couple of pints apiece, at €4.45 a pop. The most expensive pint of the crawl but still, relatively cheap compared to pints closer towards town.  A lovely pub this and a place I’ll be back to, if just to try out the food they’ve recently started to serve.


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Unless you’re a newcomer to CHTM, you’ll know that on one Sunday a month the three of us, in the company of a small group of friends head out on a pub crawl, with pubs carefully selected by one member of our troop but not revealed until we’re standing outside the door. Five pubs with a bit of history thrown in, what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Unbeknownst to ourselves, we hit a landmark on January’s crawl and didn’t celebrate it in style. We’ve been wondering how long it would take us to reach the hundred pubs mark on CHTM! and we did it here, and in less than a year- with three of our number drinking bottles of Lech and another a Lithuanian beer called Svyturys in O’Byrnes Bar, on the corner of Capel St. and Bolton St. Don’t get me wrong, we found it to be a lovely place; any pub with an open fire gets our vote of confidence pretty much straight away. It was just the fact that we thought our hundredth pub would be a great pint of Guinness in an institution like Mulligans or the Lord Edward; our fault really, covering them in the first couple of pub crawls.

O'Byrnes Bar, taken from the Tale of Ale blog

O’Byrnes though- a lovely pub with sound staff and a great taste in decor- the walls are bedecked with some classic 7″ records alongside old Hot Press covers and obligatory pictures of the Dubliners, Thin Lizzy and the likes.  We neglected to take the comfy looking couches inside the door in favour of the seats down the back beside the (unfortunately dying) fire. This place has been known as a “corner of death,” in that any business opened here in recent years rarely lasts too long, but the current owners have done a fine job in bringing something to the place, offering a range of Irish craft beers and ales which come highly recommended from the excellent Tale of Ale blog. Great tunes filtered in over the stereo too, a mix of classic and Irish rock. As nice as it was, its a pub I’d like to return to on a busy night to really see what its like. As with all of the pubs on this crawl, there was no smoking area. Lucky we only had the one smoker with us so!

Bodkins, by the ever brilliant Infomatique, from Flickr

And so, we ventured across the road to Bodkins. Probably our first “student bar” to visit on a pub crawl, this was more a space filler between bars one and three than one I’d normally pick. Lets call it a “cultural experiment.” We were joined here by a pub crawl newbie and happily started into the Guinness. €4 a pint, not bad for the city centre, but certainly not the best pint of Guinness we have tasted on our rounds; a bit of an aftertaste and it lost it’s head very quickly. They do a €5 bar menu and thats probably the cause of that. They also have free wifi and do a “laptop loan” (“unless you’re an asshole” as per their site, which is fair enough.) There’s not many places left in the city centre with pool tables, but this being the closest DIT Bolton Street has to a student bar, you can see why they’re there, alongside a signed Man. Utd. jersey in memory of a young lad that passed away, a jukebox and plenty of televisions showing the footie.  It has drink deals (three bottles of Sol for a tenner and that kind of thing, ) but in complete opposite from our next stop, its certainly no local.


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The Digital Projects section of Dublin City Public Libraries have over the past year done great work in sticking up old images of the City in times past. The latest collection to go online is one hundred and thirty or so images of Dublin pubs, some whose doors are still open, others who who live only in the memories of ex- punters. The full gallery can be seen here.

The Commodore, from Dublin City Public Libraries

The Swallow, from Dublin City Public Libraries

The site is a mine of photographic information, they have fantastic galleries on Dublin’s Sporting Heritage, the ’74 Dublin Bombings, “Missing Dublin” and now this. I look forward to more.

Billy Lavelles, from Dublin City Public Libraries

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This graveyard hides a million secrets.
And the trees know more than they can tell.
The ghosts of the saints and scholars will haunt you
In Heaven and in Hell.

We’re fresh out of the brand new Museum at Glasnevin Cemetery, and much has been learned. It’s great, if you’re wondering.

The history of Glasnevin Cemetery is well known. It is, in popular Irish history, associated with many legends and great figures. Yet there is more to the place than that, there is also the history of ordinary people and communities. In fact, for all the talk of ‘The Liberator’, liberation struggles and more besides, it is perhaps the audio interviews with gravediggers who worked at the cemetery that was most captivating. Suitably enough, the interview was conducted over a pint in the Gravediggers pub next door.

I’d only done the excellent walking tour of the graveyard recently, and not having seen my mate in a while we decided a pint was in order. The timeless, tellyless (Publicans, take note) Gravediggers on the edge of the cemetery is one of my favourite boozers in Dublin, but you can’t ‘Randomly Drop Inn’ twice, now can you?

So, where to?

We settle for The Porterhouse. This decision is largely based on the reputation of their Chocolate Stout.

“No Chocolate Stout lads, not doing that anymore”

Hmm, bad start. I opt for the Plain (a pint of Plain, clever that) stout, and the mate goes for Oyster stout. Food is ordered, seats are taken, and we have a look around. The premises is large and spacious, the music not too loud (bit of Smokey Robinson going on…), and the food arrives quick. No food for me, but the reports were good. I’ve heard great things about the Irish Stew, but who am I to spend money when there’s dinner at home. Students, we’re like that.

The pint of Plain? Not quite your only man, but still a damn good light stout and I’m content. I’ve tried the Oyster stout before too and while it takes some getting used to, it’s a grower. As they’re quick and proud to tell you, these are award winners, and unlike in some Dublin pubs with the more famous stout on offer, you can rest assured each pint will be right here.

The smoking area is sizeable, but I’m not one to stand around smoking areas. It’s large, it’s covered and it’s heated. Three boxes ticked if you’re that way inclined. The staff are friendly and talkative, and seem to be engaged with what sound like regulars. My friend picks up on the menu in front of us, which boasts that “Our beer kills fascists”. Not entirely sure what they’re getting at there, but why the hell not.

The place is quiet enough, though it is 4.30 on a Wednesday. A few large screens around the place and the variety of both booze and grub makes me think this wouldn’t be a bad spot to catch a bit of the World Cup.

The Porterhouse, for what it does, isn’t too pricey. It’s worth a venture to any of the Dublin pubs to try something new, but be warned that the two city centre pubs are tourist hubs at the minute. A worthwhile visit, with a ‘we’ll only be 10 minutes’ trip turning into an hour out of nowhere.

On our way out, we pass a Christmas tree of beer bottles.

Bit late for that, or are they just early?

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Spotted in the window of The Alamo, Temple Bar.


A pity really, as The Alamo is home to the deep friend ice-cream special. No, really. Apparently it’s lovely too.

This sign got me thinking about the average cost of a pint around the city. The Hop House, at €4, is probably the most reasonable you can expect in a Dublin city centre pub. I think we’ve only beaten that once or twice on pub crawls, with Neds coming to mind as being a bit cheaper. It’s also an early house. One nil.

Advertising a pint that’s dearer than the average pint in the city seems bizarre to me. This isn’t any worse a price than many other pubs, but it’s unusual to see it stuck in the window. The last pub I remember sticking the cost of a pint in the window was a J.D Wetherspoon in Derry, and they nearly pay you to drink.

So, drop in for the ice-cream, but stick to the tap water.

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I reckon I should open this piece with a bit of an apology.

Up until this point, whether on pub crawls or Random Drop Inns,  we’ve stuck with pints of plain. We have, article by article, gone some way towards drinking a pint of it in every pub in the city. But we just could not touch a drop of the stuff the day of the crawl, which turned out to be the hottest day of the year in Dublin City Centre; what else could make that day any better only an ice cold pint of cider and a nice perch outside.

This turned out to be the deciding factor in us hitting eight rather than the regular five pubs- not that any of us minded of course, it turned out to be a great day, with a couple of minor irks rather than anything majorly wrong with any of the places we visited. It does leave us with the problem though; How can you judge how good or bad a pint of cider is? Is it cold? Check. Wet? Check. Taste like apples? Check. Every pint is a winner.

The Bull and Castle. By Nathan A, from Flickr

So… Waiting for an exam-laden DFallon to turn up at Christchurch, we ventured into The Bull & Castle on Lord Edward Street. I’ve often passed this place by in favour of its lesser frequented neighbour, The Lord Edward as I’d assumed this Gastro-Pub effort would scorn on people like ourselves looking only for a cold drink and solace from the sun. Thankfully not as the barman dispensed with ciders and beers without a qualm. I’ll be honest and say I was a bit dazzled at first- the pub is quite dark inside, and with a cloudless sky outside, it made it difficult to work out what was what behind the bar. They have a wide range of beers, only to be matched by the Porterhouse I reckon, but none of us was brave enough to venture a try. Nice pub inside, a bit of an olde-worldy feel to it. Very clean also, a must obviously with the place doing a fine trade in grub. But the best thing about the place was the bench outside. I’ve remarked a couple of times this week, and I don’t think I’m off the mark. Dublin in the sun has to be one of the best places on the planet. So perched on a bench, not far away from where the vikings made their mark on this city, with a pint of (relatively expensive at €4.80) cider in hand and the world passing by, I’d have happily stayed there for the evening.

The Legal Eagle. By Infomatique, from Flickr.

But with the arrival of DFallon, we reluctantly gave up our spot and headed across the Liffey to The Legal Eagle, on Chancery Place. Now this pub was a pleasure for a reason- Half Price Sundays! From when doors open at 12:30 on Sunday morning to when they close at an unusual 10pm, everything in the pub sells at half price. This meant an unbeatable €2.20 for a pint, and should we have wanted it, a carvery dinner for €5.50. DFallon tried the Guinness here and said it wasn’t to be faulted but would be following suit in joining us on beer or cider at the next stop such was the heat. The bar was busy enough, I reckon the cheap booze the draw for many. For while it was a nice place, it didn’t set the heart racing and you couldn’t imagine getting comfortable on the hard benches and seats, provided for a quick turnover of diners rather than a slow swell of drinkers- problematic of a lot of pubs selling lunches.

O'Sheas Merchant. By Gianluca 61, from Flickr.

So with that, we upped and out the door, we had miles to go before we slept tonight. Back across the Liffey and into O’Sheas Merchant, on Lower Bridge Street. Cracking pub this. DFallon had been here on a session before, said the doors were closed pretty early and getting out them was prohibited unless you sang a song. Now thats the kind of place I like. It’s a bit of a schizophrenic pub, falling somewhere in between an “old man” spot and a tourist joint. Pint bottles here rather than pints, and a reeling out of the “and its still a pint” line. Images of one of dFallons heroes, Seamus Ennis, adorned the wall, and a member of an Garda Siochana propped up the bar. Off duty of course. A nice pub indeed, one to think about if we’re down this neck of the woods again. We didn’t stick around long here, for while it was nice, the formica tables and blaring telly with the Simpsons on didn’t exactly add to the charisma of the place. Maybe they turn the telly off for the sing- song at seven o’clock or something…

Pifko, from their official site.

So with a few nudges and giggles we made our way to the next spot, Pifko on Ushers’ Quay. This is an odd one. We’ve never been in a pub in Dublin where we were the only Irish people in the place but this was the case with PiFko. Primarily a Czech bar, the place was full of Slovakians watching the Ice Hockey World Cup. We weren’t mad on their “all tables must be reserved” rule; even though there were a number of empty tables, we were forced to stand under the telly. I actually liked the place apart from that, it was a bit of a laugh cheering when Slovakia scored, the whole place went mad. Nice cold pints of Paulaner, cheap at €4. Lovely. Funny looks from everyone else in the pub when we started singing Olé Olé Olé, not so. Was mad to try out the “Beaked Pork Lion” on the menu though. Being made stand while tables sat empty did nothing to entice us to stay so we made our way up to The Liberties and into a pub I’ve passed a million times, The Clock, Thomas Street.

The Clock. By dmckenna, from Flickr.

Not imposing looking from the outside, the place is pretty huge when you walk in, nicely decorated and well laid out. The punters were glued to the box, with “Reeling in the Years” on. As we reached the bar, Packie Bonners save against Romania in Italia 90 (Brilliantly portrayed in this clip from the Van) was on. myself and DFallon were only too delighted, I’ll never get sick of seeing it; The nerves, the save, and those stupid jumps he does afterwards. Pity about his Fianna Fáil connections, he used to be a hero to me! Anyways, we headed out the back to the most unusual smoking area I’ve ever been in. Well it wasn’t the smoking area itself, rather than what inhabited the smoking area- a huge cage containing around fifty twittering and cheeping birds of all shapes and sizes- canaries, budgies, cockateels, even a guinea fowl legging it around in the bottom. Mad stuff. Nice boozer, €4.60 a pint, not to be faulted.

1850's (?) Thomas Street. From Archiseek.

Nows around where it starts to get hazy. Lucky we didn’t have far to go,  only to Bakers of Thomas Street, just across the road. The three pubs we hit around the Liberties all came across as being very much locals spots. It doesn’t help that when we come to these places, more often than not, its only for one or two pints and because of that, its hard to get a proper feel, and a proper welcome from the locals. I liked this place, though Britains Got Talent made it feel less authentic than it might. Again, €4.60 a pint (cold, wet- check) what more could you ask for. A nice pub inside, with low seating, and aging memorabilia adorning the walls. Whilst most of it had seen better times, it kept us interested and deep in discussion.  Onwards drunken soldiers.

Tom Kennedys. Again from the excellent Archiseek.

Tom Kennedys of Thomas Street, right across the road from the Thomas House. What can you say about this place only it was truly terrifying. The walk to the jacks was a scary one, not because the punters were in any way threatening but because Sunday night in Kennedys is Karaoke night. And the MC took a liking to one of our crew, and kept demanding that she come up and sing! Not tonight mate… Again, a locals joint in every sense of the word, the woman behind the bar had the pints on before the locals got to the bar, that sort of place.  The place you might get looks of beleagured astonishment for sitting in “Shielas seat.” Lucky enough, we were well mannered, drank our fill and headed off. I think the pints were €4.50 here, I really need to write them down as I’m doing them. This was JFloods pubcrawl though, so I wasn’t expecting to be doing the write up!

My home away from home... Brogans Bar. By Ester Moliné, from Flickr.

The night could have ended here, but no- We had one more stop to make; Brogans on Dame Street. I really don’t want to write too much about this place because for personal reasons, its my favourite pub in Dublin. Its as close to a local as I’ll get, and is oft frequented by a large crew of my mates. Theres no particular reason its my favourite pub in Dublin, apart from some stories I could tell that you wouldn’t believe. One of the only pubs I can walk into on my own, sit at the bar on my own, order a pint and not feel like a loner/ escaped mental patient/ alcoholic/ all three combined on my own. It really is a scrap between here and Mulligans for the best pint in Dublin, and when I’m drinking it, the Guinness rings in at €4.30. I can’t describe it, just go for a drink here on a sunny afternoon and you’ll see its allure. I’ll stop now!

Right. The hardest write up I’ve ever done, what with a million things coming up between the event itself and me getting a chance to write it up. But it was a great day, amongst the best of the pub crawls we’ve done. Major kudos goes to JFlood for the choices, and to Hammy and Bookie for coming along. Next pints are on me, Sunday fortnight. Give us a shout!

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“We built this city on debts and booze…”


Molly and her admirers...


Having only remembered on Thursday previous it was my turn again to choose our route for Sunday, I hastily cobbled together a list of potentials, had a quick scout on the interweb and took a little time to whittle my list down to five. If only we could visit them all; give it time and we will have I guess.  An interesting weekend it was turning out to be with the madcap encounter described by DMcHugh below on Friday evening, a great Punky Reggae Party in Seomra Spraoi later that night, a large slice of luck on Saturday afternoon (many thanks to Ringsend Rose;) and a beautiful Sunday afternoon. What better day for a walk around the city…  Waiting at Molly Malone for the lads, I was witness to streams of tourists pause and giggle at Molly’s… ahem… appendages, funny photos  to be taken back home and talked about, and no doubt the source of many profile pictures on Facebook and Bebo alike. I couldn’t believe it- a queue actually started to mount- I’d say if you stood there with a Polaroid camera and a sign saying “Photographs, €10” you’d be worth a fortune. Anyways, I’m losing the run of myself. A quiet start this week, just the three of us mainstays meeting for the start, to be joined later by Antrophe, DSmith and JFlood.

The Duke, Duke Street

So… first stop. I had decided to cover old territory; Around Grafton Street, we had already stopped off, with varying degrees of success, in Nearys, McDaids, The Bailey, Kehoes and Davy Byrnes. One pub missing from this list, one we should have included before now but neglected, is of course The Duke, on Duke Street. The outside of this pub belies a certain grandeur within; it really is a large premises that you can’t imagine ever being packed, what with the same floorspace in the upstairs bar as down. The end of the milk cup or tin cup final or whatever piece of silverware it was the Manchester Reds and the Birmigham Clarets were battling out for was on the big screen but the barman pointed out that there were a couple of quieter seats down the back or upstairs. (You might have noticed a theme of disdain towards the English Premier League in mine and DFallon’s posts, thats pretty much because we do hold it in disdain, and well, something akin to hatred, preferring to support teams actually on this island.) I didn’t do my duty and write the prices of the pints down in each place but if memory serves, pints here were €4.45 and very enjoyable indeed. A nice crowd in too but well dispersed, such is the lay out of the place. JayCarax led the way and we captured a nice quiet table near the back of the pub. Another venue for the pour your own pint initiative that seems to be popping up all over the place, you wonder if the characters historically connected with this place (It was, for a time, purported to be the favourite watering hole of Behan, O’Brien and other Dublin literary luminaries, and after that, Ronnie Drew and his cohorts) would take to such a thing, I can imagine them pouring and drinking the pints alright, its the paying for them that I’m not sure about.

The Gingerman, Fenian Street

We didn’t linger too long, aware that the night had to end earlier than usual with JayCarax spinning the decks at the The Magnificent 7’s Session in 4 Dame Lane later that night. A nice place this, innocuous enough to be honest, historically important when it comes to Dublin social history but not much you can say after that; A fine pub, with fine pints and fine staff, certainly one that didn’t jump out as being outstanding having lost the characters of old  but I don’t have a bad thing to say about it either.

So we upped and headed out the door, to our next stop which was to be The Gingerman on Fenian Street. The Gingerman, which takes it’s name from the famous novel by JP Donleavy (a Mullingar resident now, strangely enough.) The first thing that hit us walking in the door was the smell, and that’s never a good thing- Close your eyes and you could well be in the Markievitz swimming pool down the road; bleach or chlorine or both… At least its an indication the place is clean I guess! I wasn’t over-awed by this place to be honest, nice and all as it was. None of us ventured a try at their home brew, all sticking to pints of plain at a relatively expensive €4.60. I guess the fact it’s attached to the Davenport Hotel drives the price up. DFallon was happy to see “real, actual books” on the shelves though, after his terrible let down out in the airport. The table opposite us was surrounded by young Trinners types sipping on “min-er-dils;” 7-ups and Fantas all around for some reason, maybe they didn’t trust the drink or were just the athletic type, who knows. Joined on this stop by JFlood, three became four and we headed off after another couple of mediocre pints.

Ned Scanlons, Townsend Street

The next stop was probably the strangest of our stops so far on this run. Ned Scanlons (Or just plain and simple “Neds”) on Townsend Street is an institution in itself. They make absolutely no qualms about being a spit-and-sawdust  local and rumour has it that it’s not long since they stopped spreading sawdust on the floor, having recently undergone “renovation” and adding quite a nice beer garden/ smoking area out the back. Now, it would be suicidal of me to criticize this place too much, as a few old friends and work-mates count it as their home-away-from-home but to say it’s “quaint” will do. You can’t give out, the pints ring in at €3.80 a pop. This was no student deal (You get the feeling students would be torn alive in here,) just one of the cheapest pints in Dublin. And a nice pint it was too, served by a jovial barman with his shirt hanging out at the back and looking like he had been indulging in the stock himself. I like this sort of pub, I’m not sure if the others do though. Going to the jacks is like heading into a dungeon, the womens was only added as an afterthought a couple of years ago, and the mens not far before that. Renowned as an early house, Neds is in the same tradition as Kennedys at Tara Street station and certainly one of a dying breed. As four became five, with Antrophe joining us, and inebriation setting in, we started on the short hop to our next stop, The Longstone down the other end of Townsend Street.

The Long Stone, Townsend Street

I’ve already written a bit about this place below but I didn’t really go into it other than discuss the beautiful banners they have hanging on the walls. Aesthetically beautiful, this place and Davy Byrnes probably fight it out for the title of Dublins best looking pub. Although large and imposing,  a lot of work has gone into ensuring that it remains authentic and doesn’t turn into a faceless beerhall. The front part of the pub is anonymous enough, small tables in areas squared off by the couches but when you get to the back of the pub… wow. This area is enclosed on three sides by a natural stone framed staircase on the left,  a large landing area with quiet low tabling to the front and a narrow natural timber staircase to the right . We took up positon next to the ornate fireplace, said to represent Lugh, the norse god of light and heat… or something. We were joined here by DSmith, on his first venture along to the CHTM pubcrawl. As I said, I did a sizable piece on this pub below so don’t want to harp on about it. It’s beautiful to look at, I think pints were somewhere in the €4.60 range and weren’t too shabby. The banners I talked about below, obviously, inspired a great deal of conversation as again and little known facts and titbits of history started to flow and we lost ourselves, yet again. I’ve been here on a Friday evening before and it does tend to get busy, as do most Dublin pubs on Friday, an onslaughtg of office workers from all over the city who stagger from work to pub and merrily home.

Bowes, Fleet Street

Merrily we left this place too, and after a brief run in with an Gardaí Siochána who demanded JayCarax list off what records were in his case before letting us go on our way (a truly comic… or tragic moment, a young man with a suitcase full of records; unheard of) muttering that it must be a quiet night on Dublin’s streets. Last stop, and new ground for us all- Bowes on Fleet Street.

I only realised the existence of this pub a couple of months back, one of the blokes in work telling me of “a fine little shop,  next door to that student kip;” his words, not mine. You could be fogiven for missing the place, the narrow frontage often disguised by the busses parked outside. Attached to Doyles, this place often gets by-passed and forgotten about but not anymore with me. If I’m thirsty and in this part of town, I’ll be sure to drop into Bowes again. Definitely not what I was expecting, having been told that this is an “old-mans-pub,” no spit-and-sawdust nor tobacco stained walls anywhere to be seen, just a quiet, well kept, lovely pub, with  couples chatting quietly over pints and a few more tables occupied by stragglers, quietly reading the days news before joining the Sunday evening exodus out of the city. Pints rang in at €4.50 and were more than acceptable. I don’t know what to say about this place really, I know nothing of its history, I’d never been here before and was relying purely on the recommendation of a friend but I really liked it. It is certainly a “home-y” sort of a place, very relaxed in atmosphere and everyone seemed to be on first name terms with the lady behind the bar. I was delighted to hear a bit of music start up in the other corner, starting off with a lone Uileann Piper, one of my favourite instruments, I’d love to pick a cheap set up but apparently there’s no such thing as a cheap set, the things cost a bloody fortune. If there’s one good thing to come out of this little experiment of ours, we’ll all have the ability to walk through the streets of Dublin and say “I know a lovely spot not too far away” no matter where we are.  I have a feeling I might not be too far away from Bowes tomorrow evening, I might drop in and see if the pints are still as good…

So, the end of the night was upon us, and a communal visit to Supermacs for their snack-box special and we we’re off. Another five pubs down, making it thirty four or so we’ve reviewed already, and many, many more to go.

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“Come on; stall down here, we’ll get cans in, head to a pub, and then hit Dancehall Styles,” I say. “Grand, but meet me up in The Flowing Tide for one first” he says. Do we make it to Dancehall Styles? Not a chance. The Flowing Tide on Abbey Street has the ability to put the goo on you for a night on a bar stool. It’s a great spot, just off O’Connell Street but it somehow manages to avoid the majority of the ‘five-around-one-pint-of-stout” tourists that places like The Oval and Murrays seem to attract in abundance. Pints at a nice price too, at €4.15, unusual considering. The barman is a gent too, though I remind myself not to get on his bad side.

The Flowing Tide, by Sarahjoh, from Flickr

I was here one afternoon with my brother, ingesting a couple of quiet ones before we legged it down to Connolly to catch the train home. There was just the two of us and the barman, swapping small talk and watching the wrestling on telly, laughing and cracking jokes about it, when all of a sudden, two thirty-something blokes, straight from the office, and pretty hoi-polloi, strode hurriedly in. Without looking at the barman, one nasally whined “Hoi, stick on two Heino and the last race at Cheltenham, good man.” Christ. The barman, without taking his eyes off the telly said “Nah, lad, we’re watching the wrestling.” The two “Heinos” didn’t know where to look, eventually said “you can cancel the Heinos,” turned heal and left. I didn’t know where to look either, I nearly spilled my drink with laughter. So, moral of the story, don’t cross the barman with the moustache…

Anyways, great little spot; with the theatre across the road, you often get well known faces dropping in- Mick Lally (Miley from Glenroe) is a regular, though he’s a little worse for wear these days to be honest. But he wasn’t there tonight, just myself, jaycarax and a few locals. A couple of pints later and it was obvious that neither of us would have the energy to make it to see our friends in Worries Outernational. What we could do is get the grub in and head for another couple of quiet ones elsewhere.

Sin É, from properpint.com

So, after a quick stop off in the Peoples Kitchen on Capel Street (worth an article in itself- good asian food at half the price,) we headed as far as Sin É on Ormond Quay, pleasantly surprised to find that on Sundays, they do €3 pints of Guinness. I was hoping there wasn’t a reason for the pints being €3, but other than them being served in non-branded glasses (a bit of a pet hate,) you couldn’t complain.

Sin É: I really don’t know what to make of it. It tries to attract an “in” crowd, but bars like that are generally, well, a bit crap to be honest, but this place does well in that the staff are proper spot-on, the music is always good, and the punters are sound too. It’s frequented by Irish and non-Irish alike, a lot of backpacker types, alongside a couple of locals propping up the bar. Nice place it has to be said I guess. We stayed for a couple of their nice €3 pints before I realized the night was getting on and I had work bright and breezy in the morning. A right pain in the arse as we had just settled ourselves into some nice seats just inside the door. Ah well; not a bad evening, nice and cheap, not to be scoffed at in these times, the pints and the food came to less than €30. Well worth a try again sometime!

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