I’ve said it before; and I’ll be the first to admit – I’m a cocktail snob (see: my review of The Blind Pig for context). This snobbiness comes with its own brand of judgement and dismissive comments such as “Oh, they “do” cocktails, do they? I’m sure…”
However, as 12 of us stood there, sipping a glass of gin, balsamic and basil we all agreed – we got this one wrong. We were quick to judge, had almost written it off before we came through the door – but Harry’s On The Green blew us away.
I was wrong, and I’m so glad I was.
I’ll admit, I’m a cocktail snob. I scoff at Sex on the Beach, I’ve already moved past the Pornstar Martini and I’d see your mojito and raise you a Mint Julep.
There are two distinct trains of thought regarding cocktails – either you’re looking for something cheap and sugary or you’re looking for something to enjoy.
In their own words; “The city is often overrun with a plethora of overly-sweet, luminous concoctions that have little resemblance to the types of drinks once celebrated in bars all over the world, the Blind Pig serves the direct opposite. ” So say Dublin’s newest cocktail bar and I can’t argue with that.
While I do love me a fancy cocktail club, there will always be a place in my heart for a good dive bar. It’s the simplicity of it all. No frills or fuss. Good vibes, good music, good nights.
No-one does a good dive like Cassidy’s and in the past few years they’ve been expanding their kingdom; beginning with the storming success that is P.Mac’s, that quickly took up residency in my grown-up-grunge-kid heart.
This is the bar that you go months without visiting, but as soon as you walk through the door and think, “Why don’t I come here all the time?!”
I, like many others, have been long-drawn to the brightly painted walls of the Drury Buildings. A place where all sorts of sounds seem to spill out onto Fade Street as passer-by after passer-by asks “What’s that place?”
On my third attempt, I finally got in the door. Like I said, I’m not the only one looking to find out what this place is about. The food menu has yet to excite me despite the Italian influence, but the mirrored bar, piled high with coloured bottles, was calling my name.
By now you’re probably seeing an underlying theme of red velvet and Victorian-style speakeasies in the bars I frequent.
A recent addition to Dawson Street, brimming with style and bearded patrons – for a long time it was known by me, and I’m sure by many others, as “That place with the funny name”, but since opening it has since made a name for itself in its own right. If you’re in the mood for something special, this is where I’d go.
If ever you want to show off to an out-of-town friend, or a younger sibling, that you’ve got the low-down on the coolest underground hot spots – talking like that won’t help, but bringing them here would.
Let me set the scene; it’s early evening, it’s raining and if you don’t get a drink in the next 5 minutes you’re going to start throwing punches – or, at least that’s my average Thursday. Take a turn from Exchequer Street on to George’s Street and before long a door appears on your right. Atmospheric funk music and anime wall art draws you down below street level. Your eyes adjust – and you’ve arrived.
First it was Lillie’s, Krystal for a little while, then Grafton Lounge had a bit of a moment – but 37 Dawson Street has remained constant in attracting something of a mystique (and an air of “Isn’t that you’re one off the telly?)
Proud owners of the world’s longest hashtag (#AllisNotWhatItSeems) and that infamous gold robot statue from the interiors store on Camden Street – there’s plenty I should be slagging about this place for being a Boom Time Bar fresh out of Recession Rehab, but I can’t; I bloody love this joint.