An Alternative Pub Crawl of Dublin
This is by no means intended to be a comprehensive list - the ideal watering hole is far too elusive and subjective a thing for that.
My intention here is to highlight a few of those fine imbiberies that exist from day to day --and have done so for years - untroubled by the glaring spotlight of tourist trade magazines, unphased by the fickle and ever-shifting tastes of the hungry trend followers, simply serving good beer in a comfortable, unpretentious environment.
If your tastes lean to the quiet solitary pint of fresh Guinness, taken at your leisure and without the least inclination to look at your watch or to consider, even playfully, a possible plan of action following the inevitable draining of the oh so inviting glass before you, then you'll find a few imbiberies here for you.
If on the other hand you enjoy the lively, eclectic, late night banter so often engaged in by those fine men and women who "reach contentment before capacity", and, loosened somewhat from the tethers of social etiquette, soar in their newly-donned garb of behavioral and verbal eloquence, then you may find a port of call to raise your interest.
This list includes some of Dublin's finest pubs that you won't find in the in-flight magazines.
I call it a "Pub Crawl" because I've tried to map out a convenient walking route between each drinking emporium where possible. it has to be said, though, that as the list grew, it became clear that to complete the full route in a day would involve a "Pub Sprint" and to have an alcoholic beverage in each port of call would certainly have to invite the title "Pub-icide".
So, without any further blathering, the list ( a work in progress).
Slattery's - Rathmines Rd
Although a little bit outside the metropolitan area, Slattery's is smack dab in the heart of renter's mecca, and as such is a haven for students. The atmosphere reflects a hip young city without any trappings of self conciousness. Large bright windows look out onto the busy street while dark secluded corners invite the hopelessly romantic as well as the leglessly drunk. Good people watching for the lone explorer, or if you're in company, a comfortable place for a chat and a pint.
I can vouch for it as a good early evening and night time bar.
An Poc Fada ( pronounced "On Puck Fodda")
Again a good night time bar in my experience, attracting a fairly eclectic mix of students, young professionals, old amateurs, musicians, soccer fans and a little bit of everything in between.
A pretty busy bar, nice to drop in on a night out.
JJ's, for me, is at the other end of the spectrum, although not exclusively.
Suffice to say that sitting at the bar or at one of the modest tables and watching the grey daylight lazily stretching through frosted glass windows and lightly touching the nicotine yellow ceiling, with only one's own thoughts and a full-bodied, cool pint of Stout to bear witness, well...it'll do things to you.
On the rare occasion when I stopped in at night, it was lively and friendly with an older crowd of regulars. All in all, very pleasant.
The Long Haul
A picture of quiet, dignified elegance on the busy congested thoroughfare that is George's St, The Long Haul boasts an outer facade from a different time, and on entering, it becomes clear that the implied promise of elegance is no idle boast - a luxuriantly long mahogany bar meets you at your right and draws your eye through a corridor of red leather seats and deep persian-style carpet, reaching almost to the far wall. The bar staff are pleasant and professional, and the beer is the icing on the cake.
It's no wonder that such a place would attract an eclectic crowd of talkers, listeners, thinkers, drinkers, curious people and people that are curious, and on any given night there's a fair chance you might fall in love, get in an argument, meet your new best friend, lose your wallet, take up smoking, give up smoking, find your wallet or forget to call a cab.
Whelans is mostly recognised as a music venue, but the front bar, seperate from the stage area, has a nice relaxed feel with low lighting and wooden benches and a decent lunch menu.
Check back here for more fine dublin bars to be added.....