Wednesday, August 15, 2007

10 pubs +

the barman
Cassidys is where they brought Bill Clinton when he came over his mother was Cassidy. its beside the Bleeding Horse on Camden St.

Well you may have heard incompetent as being described as "Someone who couldn't organize a piss up in a brewery"
Well Dublin has plenty of pubs and one famous brewery, Guinnesses.

Start off with a tour around the botanical gardens in Glassnecvin its free and it will give you an apatite to have dinner in the Tolka House just further down the hill. Most of the successful pubs do a great lunch it has helped them survive in this no smoking times (food to an Irishman is called "lining" for the stomach).

Take a look up the hill to the left and you will see a gray pyramid shaped building this is the They sent us very bad weather this year!

Head off for town again keeping to the right. Just after the Sunnybank hotel there is a little street called** Turn right and follow your nose and you will come into a green space Prospect square where you will find the most uneqe pub in Dublin.
Kavanaghs or "The Gravediggers" as it is known.
The pub was opened in 1833 and has stayed in the same family since then, that is for 6 generations. The first John Kavanagh had 25 children 3 of which fought in the American Civil war.
Its a dark place with no television(I have never been in the Lounge) so therefore people have weighty and witty conversations without distractions.
The pint of Guinness here is fantastic.
Back on to the road turn right for town and take note of the Brian Boru "Headigans" on the right hand side.
Now you can cross over and get the bus back into O'Connell St.
On the next corner is the Porterhouse they make all their own beer and with EU grants they have become trendy. But look at the 2 big chimneys of Mountjoy Jail on the opposite side of the canal and be thankful you don't have to spend a night of B&B there.
Onward a big step to Parnell St at the top of O'Connell St. There is Patrick Conways pub this is supposed to be the oldest pub in Dublin. Its really well fitted out with its mahogany bar and the famous big clock, so you don't miss your bus.

Down O'Connell St towards the river Liffey stay on the left and just after Clearys store there is a street called Sackville Place.This is the old name for O'Connell St.
20 yards down there is one of Dublins small living room type pubs the Saclville lounge..After a few visits the barman will greet you by name.
The Polish shop on the other side of the road is stocked with all your favourate Polish goods, great looking girls too.
Back on to O'Connell st where you pass the statue of Daniel O'Connell himself.
The statue stood there right through the 1916 rising and you can see a bullet hole in the angels breast facing you one on the other side was shot in the arm.

Over the bridge to the South side.

Another famous pub is Mulligans of Poolbeg St Est 1782.( Most of thees pubs are in James Joyces books) Many the hours of miss spent youth have been passed there.
Low cellings, the smoking ban is a blessing.
Out of there into Tara St right then turn left on Pearse st to take a look at the hanging flower baskets on O Neills pub.
About face and head towards the dreaded Temple Bar area,keep to the left hand side of Pearse street as you head back,there is a busy methadone clinic on the right.
As you pass the police station note the carved stone heads looking down, they are wearing English Bobbys helmets, not the flat cap of the Garda. The next door though has heads with flat caps,the station is older than the state.

Cross the street and keep to the right at Doyles bub. On the left as you pass down Fleet st. Bowes pub a fine place I think there is a snug in there.
A snug was a small room where widows or other people who would not want to be seen in a pub would go for a drink,you would be served through a hatch.
Facing Bowes is the now redundant offices of the Irish Times the newspaper of the educated class.
Crossing Westmorland St down 20 yards you come to The Palace bar one of Dublins most famous litary pubs. Countless sages and wags stood and fell in this bar.

You must avert your eyes as you pass the Thunder Road and the Hard Rock Cafe.
Haunts of Hen and Stag parties.

Go back to Hollywood.

Oliver St John Gorgartys, further down. The owner of this pub group spends more then e11,000 on live music every week for his pubs.The Temple bar also has live music and they must be good because they are always full,thats a fact not an opinion.

Heading left on Dame St near Sth Great Georges St,beside the bookies there is an alley, through the alley on the left is the Stags Head in Dame Court.
Once upon a time I worked part time there. A fine place, full of Trinity students.

Down Dame lane towards Dublin Castle is the busiest bar in Ireland.
That is the George on Georges St. This is a gay bar but you don't have to be gay to drink there. They do a great cabaret there sometimes.(So I hear)
Further up the street is the Long Hall a five example of what A Victorian watering place looked like.

If you go up the road another 50 yards there is a church where the bones of St Valentine are kept. A rub of the relic and your love life is sorted.

Cut back through the Gorges Arcade. On the left as you heave a guy from Brazil who sells fine wines, you won't be disappointed with his choice.Blazing salads across for a healthy snack.
Down on the left you have The old stand and the International bar which has comedy nights and they will give you a try out.Go on lets see how funny you are.
I saw a few now famous names falter,get up and go on again to glory here .
Comedy is a hard gig The Hapeney bar near the hapeney bridge has cheap comedy nights as well. The laughter lounge is expensive.

Keep on through Castle market Grogans on the right through the other shopping mall Powerstown house shopping center. On the left is AYA a Japanese sushi eatery, try the breast of chicken cooked in lime juice and herbs, they do early bird specials and lunch specials,and on to Grafton St. Through the twisting lane
Turn right then you have John Keoghes world famous bar in St Anne st. The Bailey, Davy Byrnes in Duke St, The Duke is also packed and then theres Bruxelles bar which faces McDaids behind the famous statue of Phil Lynott in Harry St,
Nearys bar in Chatham St is around the corner this is the place where the barman banned Pavarotti for singing!
His hand prints are outside the Gaeity theater on the footpath where he made his debut.
Correction.Since his death the detail has come out. He was performing for the Dublin Operataic society.Thats where the manageress of the Covent garden opera house saw him. She was from Dublin and brought him over To London as an understudy. The leading roll gave up after one preformance and Pavarotti became a sensation, he also filled other dates which had been lined up for the other singer including Sunday night at the London pilladium.

On through to Dawson st where Cafe en Scene stands among the fine eating establishments.

This is the bar that forced a man to fly from London(in his private jet) just to see what it looked like. He is a famous Italian architect
Go in look see for yourself.

What do you think?
Go there early in the day when its empty to get the full effect.
Its full of posers at night.

Further up the street you have 2 pubs with the same name Ron Blacks and the Dawson lounge Ron Blacks is smaller than most peoples sitting rooms. Its only a doorway beside a Jewelers shop.
Turn left on St.Stephens Green straight ahead is the Shelbourne Hotel refurbished recently the Horseshoe bar is supposed to be just great.
Heading for Merrion Row on the right is O'Donohues one of the most famous pubs in the world.
If you were to faint this place is so crowded at night that you would not fall,such is the crush.
Further down on Baggott St. There is Doheny & Nesbitt and Toners.

There are many more you should go to see the Hole In The Wall and The Brazen Head the Merchant with its dancing and Ryans of Parkgate st and Nancy Hands beside it.

There is a great singing session in the Cobblestone bar in Smithfield. A guy told that when he was playing there they stopped for a "tea" break and this old guy borrowed his guitar and played for a bit,the other lads slagged him for months for not knowing the old was Bob Dylan. Another little story we were told in Boston.
A lady in California was shocked when her son told her that a "Weird old man came in and started singing crazy songs in the playgroup" She rang up to complain only to be told it was Bob Dylan visiting his granddaughter.
All the mothers turned up the next day to meet him but he had moved on.

If you see Bono or the Edge in Dublin it is polite to approach them,this is an Irish thing,in Dublin the famous are left in peace.
Most people want to be left alone and we respect that.
One well known asshole got very annoyed when I did NOT know who he was even when he said his name. When I said I don't get time to watch TV was the clincher.
I don't do TV
He got a very bruised ego. (He was a big film star no less)

I met a guy in Kerry a few years ago a German, my cousin told me he was very wealthy man he owned the best Irish bars in Europe. He had developed the concept and worked out exactly how it would be done. His bars are the best in the word and he was hardly 50 years old then. Spends loads of time in Dingle,wearing an old leather cowboy hat and long hair,a recluse and very happy one.

In reality Irish barmen are deaf and grumpy not at all like they should be.

As soon as I publish I will think of more places to see and visit.

Don't forget the Carravagio painting the taking of the Christ in the National art gallery, we have loads of impressionist paintings too.
The Celtic Gold collection in the National museum.
The book of Kells in Trinity college.

The Celtic Note record shop in Nassau St carries loads of trad. Irish CDs.
Also Claddagh records in Cecelia St. Near Temple bar Sq.(Probably best one)
They offer far more choice than the big record chain stores.
Try Sharon Shannon, S,Begley & Cooney, Fraces and Mary Black,Maura O'Connell(New CD out),Paul Brady, Cafe Orchestra and The Buena Vista Social Club.

I will publish in case you are coming here today, correcting the mistakes later.
My head is spinning. Such a pub crawl, you couldn't stop at 10.

Oh yes don't forget to tip the taxi driver.


  1. Anonymous8:17 AM

    What do you think of Dublins newest pub The Lincon Inn on Lincon Place?

  2. Anonymous3:58 PM

    Not as good as the old Lincoln.

    For trad music there's also Claddagh Records on Cecilia Street, which is actualy better than Celtic Note (less touristy, much wider selection, really knowledgable staff).

    Great blog, keep them coming...

  3. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Who was the asshole movie star?!

  4. Well what happens in the cab stays in the cab. But I am sure there is more than one film Star with the initials C F.
    So if pressed I would deny that it was him.
    But then he has done nothing much in the last few years.

  5. That is some night on the tiles!
    What happens in the cab stays in the cab.........oh shit!