PROUDLY SPONSORED BY BARFLY BARFLY BARFLY words C
onor Stevens words Conor Stevens photo Killian Broderick words Conor Stevens Michael McDermott BARFLY words Ian Lamont photos Killian Broderick words Oisín Murphy-Hall photos Killian Broderick BARFLY words Ian Lamont photos Killian Broderick words Oisín Murphy-Hall photos Killian Broderick BARFLY words Ian Lamont photos Killian Broderick words Oisín Murphy-Hall photos Killian Broderick BARFLY words Ian Lamont photos Killian Broderick words Oisín Murphy-Hall photos Killian Broderick BARFLY words Ian Lamont photos Killian Broderick words Oisín Murphy-Hall photos Killian Broderick ENCHANTING ELIXERS The Sidecar MALLARD REACTION The Lucky Duck IN AUGUST COMPANY The Terrace at The Irish Film Institute BARFLY 1. As you read this, even as you don’t, we are (doubtless) still in the grip of our most severe Winter since records began and the city remains clenched within its unyielding gelid fist. Even if this is not the case it’s still January and you could almost certainly use a little pick-me-up. I prescribe an intensive course of top-shelf depressants to banish those post-festive blues. At the very least one might succeed in pushing those blues out to early Spring. Best of all – with the savings you’ve made by eating in Chinese supermarkets all month you’ll have the means to treat yourself to a moderate, guiltless debauch. The Sidecar at The Westbury Hotel should be just the ticket. I’m joined for the night by my old mucker Red Ben, a man uniquely qualified for this particular assignment. We s a eh r d more than a couple of drinks in our college days and although I had the pleasure of attending his nupti la s in the Summer this still feels like something of a reunion. One of the most discerning and considered drinkers I have ever known, he addresses every glass with an interrogative rigour and has borne his gout with great courage and quiet dignity. He also Michael McDermott Ben Walsh photos Killian Broderick 2. I’m joined by Red Ben, erstwhile pinko to my ponce, for this, my thirteenth Barfly jeremiad. He is a man who (as I’ve mentioned before) is both very partial to and very picky about his drinks. He’s all about quality and quantity. We get along just great. At my suggestion we enjoy a couple of potent gins and tonics (Garnish Island Gin and Fevertree with a wedge of lime) at the office before setting out. Refreshed, we hit the City and point ourselves toward Aungier St. Expectations are lower than a snake’s belly but I’ve decided to give the Press Up group one last chance not to disappoint or enrage me. I’m momentarily buoyed up by my own magnanimity. Opened about six weeks ago now in the former Aungier House space (on a particularly unlovely stretch of the street), the place has been gutted and thoroughly Pressed-Up. Ben As I write we have been experiencing something of a strawberry Spring. Winter has stormed out of the room only to repeatedly burst back in to bellow “and one more thing…”. April has been cruel indeed. Nevertheless, by the time you read this, or don’t, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the time for outdoor drinking will be upon us. To put this in context, I’m not predicting balmy 20-degree evenings, or even orange warnings for fake tan, merely a relaxation of the dank and dismal grip that we’ve been enduring of late. It may not be raining and cold. Given the relentlessly depressing nature of our weather it is probably churlish to point out that we do not have a superabundance of spots that reward the alfresco alcohol experience. The terrace at the back of the IFI is always overlooked in this respect. Most regular folks tend to hit and run, perhaps enjoying a pre-or-post film glass of something. I imagine that this is the point of the place but I’ve found over the years that this space can repay the patient tippler with singular pleasures. This weather has never been a consideration tells me that the place was originally to be called ‘The Dutch Billy’ until some locals “lodged some protests through the windows.” On the ground floor you get a facsimile of a Victorian pub that the owners/designers imagine might appeal to a target audience that may or may not exist. There’s a handsome copper bar and a very impressive dark mahogany back bar. Framed photographs of auld Dublin festoon the walls. It’s nice work. As I’ve been saying ad nauseam, these guys do nice interiors, just not content. I’m less impressed with a ‘snug’ that would make a street-side installation of its inhabitants. The barkeep is sporting a topknot and braces. mixes a better Martinez than yo tud y’e roum is s to find out w nh d h m rewarded with the bs it me p a very pleasant place to be on a Tsed to be use or indeed any night. It is beautif n auld hly lit, loan ucur bg yohe whaat the Thr t THE HARD SELT(ZER) So, Hard Seltzer is clearly this summer’s Aperol Spritz in terms of the ‘seen to be seen’ trend of choice whether from a can or as a mixer. First out of the (thirst) traps was White Claw and now Kopparberg enters the game with Mixed Berries, Black Cherry and Passionfruit varieties. Carbonated water, alcohol, and fruit flavoring, is clearly a magic formula with stellar growth predictions. Expect a splurge of new entrants over the coming months with Brewdog and Diageo all warming up on the sidelines with their fizzy take on things. Kopparberg Hard Seltzers are available across Tesco and will be available in coming weeks in BWG, Molloys & Next door off-licences. RRP €3.50 OLD TO BEGIN The Ivy The Ivy stands on the elegant corner site at the junction of Parliament Street and Dame Street, rejuvenating the space that used to be The Thomas Read, figurehead of the doomed pub group which was feasted on by fellow publicans following its collapse in 2008. The status quo for new bar concepts in o. Th a s Doblin i uuesday night,d for (in more vuthen , ac timy t ar’s h t oea ion, however, t t ot’s and en love ping. From the black m rble floo mo oas Read had alretady been doina, the dark inlaid wood fini hs es th namlace has b art-deco’d to within an inch of i been at that pas - ular corn Daniel in uirf th ence. It is a 1930s cocktail bar as designn lo kinaz L hru mann. Nevertheless, it fe ls likv e as, to itel bar in the best way and the room is hummingl for my enjoyment of the space, even in the face of common sense. During my time trading at the Temple Bar Food Market (as a gentleman fishmonger) we would always finish up here to piss and moan, quite literally. Those days are sadly behind me, there are more unpleasant things to wash one’s hands of. Nevertheless, the IFI Gastronomic Council (of which I am a founding member) has been meeting here If you have any interest in what you drink This may or may not be policy. Time will tell. He’s an affable young man and while I dither over my order he offers me a taste of the new Heineken product, H41. I guess it’s their Hop 42 52 52 52 52 52 44 . when we make our entrance. you will want to follow our lead and take a seat at the handsome zinc bar. This is where it happens. This is where your attention should be. If you are over six feet tall you won’t have any legroom but you will care less as the night e p ed as it was aeen fter t ah lm lert t im’ p e t t t had ts glittering exirtic MISADVENTURES Huck’s GIN FOR THE WIN The World Gin Masters, where leading spirits specialists blind taste gin, made its annual pronouncements earlier this month. Big winners from here include Dublin City Gin (The Dublin Cut) which won a Masters in the Super Premium range and Lough Ree Distillery which won a trio of medals – Sling Shot picked up Gold in the Ultra Premium, Aiteal won Gold in the Microdistillery category and Mist + Moss which was a special batch creation for the Armada Hotel in Clare picked up a Silver in the Contemporary category. If you are looking for a buzz international brand, then, you’re advised to seek out Hernö’s range from Sweden. lrd.ie hernogin.com e cuos Ivy is a sister bar to House on Leeson Street, 37 Dawson Street and Xico on Baggot Street (amongst others) run by businessman Alan Clancy. Like each of those bars of those bars, The Ivy is not playing for cutting edge or kooky. In fact even more so than its siblings, this bar The Terrace at The Irish Film Institute Meeting House Square Dublin 2 The Lucky Duck 43 Aungier St Dublin 2 (01) 405 4824 theluckyduck.ie 8a Camden Street Dublin 2 my secoat t. I’e building I’ve e aer hadti t anes)ime, anyw tourist wri The Jf tholly Monk jacketed b rta ender (ple 3. o ABBEY HOUR ‘It’s weird how monks are allowed to drink, isn’t it?’ I ask Anton as we approach The Jolly Monk, the newly renovated bar of the Abbey Hotel. ‘I mean, as in you would think drinking would be unfolds. We are two boozy moths to the flame e glowing backbar. Daniel, our slick, whitease desist from using the term ‘mixologist’) glides silently over to us and oo little cr e s s a on an ordering stra egt y before we ght here so our first order is fo or ‘ ur drinks’ – the dr’ink pours us som he c ampagne into t ywu idiot,’ hys at lys. ‘Look a ht t e sign!’ A monk coupes, ‘for while we look over thho lo we m oks li’enu. It’ke Neil Morrissey is holding aloft a classy move and it sets the tone beer stein with a smile on his face. Anton pauses that m ta erialises in each of our brain f dra o hen w hear the word ‘co kc tail’. So that’ impermanen Manhattan for Ben and a Grey Goose Mintini super dirty for Conor. l’ It is testament to Danie s abilities and experience that he simultaneously manion in its vadiou the finest iteration of this drink th r at I’ ic t ys had in this country while making ie. Sufr that he the dirty martini has always had sg a martini glass at the corner of the bar and of the douchbag about it. It could be the s se doesn’t ent eir ly approve of my o M . He’s less Rita Hayworth w f drink of Florida, America’s wang f. Bm P ess epya John’s pizza boxes on their laps (the il narrow momentar y and he no bs sageity aen o ens at the start of Oct bo er, I’m Manh ta tan. It’s a very good start. Desperate fo validation now I put myself in D uoaniels inf’s hingemen a crn tthat. He makes iha n French G’velling in a d adultera es with Peychgud Bitter unfa tor sa aeons. Ied boy B g to es w tsh a new idents ty, t neo e I y ha n ho ts credit, avo oideruioed ora most tempting y o vb iou eacoutep. In the g ear t Dublin vintners ca ve-un , The tabilih and proceed it o ah int m Eng s f bd gs ing dowe zesngn thet, the better to pe ofume s r h si My turn to blush. The dr t hisink is fllol ral s sub and a ’romartic a pd I drink it in nea he sets us up with an elegant, aust Aeer Vieuxn old man wearing a slightly-too-large cruCarré and a modern Negr nio mcifix neckelace passes by us as we return to our s s ercepah ibly in its glass. Befy, engaagste er o q e city foes as tro which hand If’e dill be drinking y lef li hman w Ben savours an Aperol Negroni A changbju ugation of the other. This, I supbartender sees Cathal prepare upose, io h eeab Cr kl pitfall of the hotel bar for the Old-Fashioned and a Corpse Revi er res eclation: here, everyone is an outsider. tive yl . B th are ex o Huck’cesllent. Upon Dvniel’ n s a spicer,’ Anton suggests. ade on M zcal. NOT GOING AWAY Trevor (Bodytonic) O’Shea is one of the big players in the pub scene in the city. Proprietor of The Bernard Shaw, The Square Ball, Wigwam, MVP and The Back Page, O’Shea’s take on this moment is that he’s “planning that this is not going away.” Having pivoted into the takeaway business as they navigated the early summer rapids, Bodytonic are now back in business, albeit in a modified way. “Most of our bars are in the suburbs which ironically seems like a great idea at the moment.” He feels it is “inevitable that you can’t ask young people to lock down forever, so at some point people will have to compromise and usually common sense wins.” What he is noticing so far is that people are planning two to three weeks out but not forward planning like they used to. “All we can do is try to make reasonable assumptions and guesses and adjust to the change.” At the moment, they are considering options for Jam Park based around a 1,000 capacity configuration but are awaiting government guidelines. bodytonicmusic.com . We had decided rder k i s right, inomething on d ar’s kl cht hisp even heard some protest that certain of their ‘rights’ are being infringed as they are ushered out of this private space, bottles and cans clanking, by the long suffering security guys. They should totally take to Facebook to vent their witless outrage and probably do. On this occasion they seem too caned to fight for their right to party. Pity. We begin with a round of Pastis, in this case but it is keen to claim Samuel Clemens as its own. I have spent some time there and I love the man who quit the slavers’ army to cross first the fledgling stagecoach nation and then the world in steam, spinning tall tales and challenging every authority along the way; the man who stood against his country’s racist brutality at home, against its imperialism in the Philippines and against Belgium’s in the Congo; who defied religious hypocrites and moralists wherever he found them. Not all of his writing is all that good, because an unusual and totally unnecessary commitment to paying his debts meant a lot of pot-boiling. Did you know there’s a whole book where Tom Sawyer and his friends travel above Africa in a hot-air balloon? It’s terrible. Dublin is even further from Hannibal, Missouri. We have no real connection to Samuel Clemens at all, but if I were to try to capture the essence of Samuel Clemens in one quotation, I might choose: 52 44 52 44 Thi ess thar recarious emotional state of the here. A b pest lokgaree. Susan Sontag notes how the tini I am said to be a revolutionist in my sympathies, by birth, by breeding and by principle. I am always on the side of the revolutionists, because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute. Pernod adulterated with ice water. One would of course prefer Ricard but it’s a nice way to start and gets us through the sole item on the council agenda – ‘Why eggs are so hot right now’. We generally stick to pints here but tonight we throw out the script because we’re spending end up is also where the food does (there is a full menu which I’ll never sample). Also turns out that I don’t enjoy the smell of scallops when I’m in for cocktails. Wouldn’t be a problem if the other rooms were available I guess. There are but two stools at a very small bar. I feel as if we could just swivel around and give a presentation to the diners. Our barman up here is again very pleasant and engaging. His britches are also held up with braces. He does the right thing and asks us how we like our drinks. Ben’s is an old fashioned made on Rittenhouse Rye, . of the s e of s a Kns t e r I do not think I would root through all his novels and come up with: He used to lay drunk with the hogs in the tanyard The Ivy 1-4 Parliament Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 8 theivydublin.ie 01-6718267 navtiv,e popu - ‘Eaeryo es ret’ urn The Sidecar and The Westbury Hotel Balfe St, Dublin 2. (01) 679 1122 House 13, moderately better than the piss you’re used to but still not worth drinking. He is blameless in this. The website promises ‘proper pints… golden, melty toasties and good conversation.’ This kind of copy is supposed to establish tone of voice. It succeeds in establishing a direct line of communication with my stomach ulcer. Serenity now! We order a couple of pints of Guinness which turn out to be not improper and talk about Ben’s desire for underfloor heating in his new house before moving to discuss the life and works of Saint Augustine of Hippo. His ‘Confessions’ still retain the power to succour those whose paths have led to dissipation. We decide for the purpose at hand to drink our way to the top floor (much like Augustine himself) only to be told by topknot that the top two rooms are closed. Nevertheless, we are ushered up to the purgatorial second floor with great ceremony. Those upper floors are again pleasant places to be, with deep blue walls, some bright modern canvasses and nice furniture that somebody else can describe if they wish. Turns out that The Digges Room where we Saturday evening. Our council quorum comprised Comic Book Guy, Stoney Paul, Sweet William and my good self. Mary from Dunloe would swing by later to gripe about the quality of tonic water in her gin. Contrary to unpopular belief, the terrace is not a BYOB affair. The kids who congeal in the square every week, as the market folds, have yet to receive the memo. Their repeated attempts to flout this seemingly apparent statute punctuate my every visit and never fail to provide some entertainment. I’ve more Engtliath lads’ weekend holidayers eating ro en’ a told) and heckrling nearby indi idv uals for varir ands forts on their psychical comfort. For about a year now, progressing along Camden Street, I had seen the hoarding advertising “HUCKLEBERRY’S coming soon”, complete with a depiction of the Mississippi River and one of Mark Twain at the height of his moustachewearing powers, and I dreaded the day that such a place would actually open. San Francisco is far from Hannibal, Missouri, he says. ‘Name one profession that doesn’t.’ I think for a moment. ‘I suppose I thought that the monk was one.’ ‘They named a bar after the monk’s drinking, 4. in weekly session for over a decade now. In all weathers. On more than one occasion hot water bottles, flasks and even balaclavas have been deployed to counter gelid conditions. Turns out that drinks don’t really taste of anything when the ambient temperature is minus nine. We had no such concerns on a recent drizzly he h prohibited or something.’ ‘What’s weird about that? Everybody drinks,’ OLD TO BEGIN The Ivy OLD TO BEGIN The Ivy But it’s a version of this that appears above the door of Huck’s. A hundred years ago, of course, Dublin Castle’s RIC garrison were known as the “hogs in the tanyard” by those who were revoluting, but I don’t really see the significance today. If you are expecting more Mark Twain content on the inside, the first thing to greet you is one of B.P. Fallon’s photos of Shane MacGowan. I love Shane MacGowan and I love B.P. Fallon, and if you’re opening a B.P. Fallon themed bar on Camden Street, that is long overdue; it should of course be called “Purple-browed Beep’s”. But this place, inexplicably, is called “Huck’s”. They have a pizza menu. Not for the first time, The Jolly Monk OLD TO BEGIN The Ivy ABBEY HOUR The Jolly Monk OLD TO BEGIN The Ivy ABBEY HOUR in toought: ‘I suppose childminders, maybe.’ and hang your ba ned affilit. Hs Ddi f the Thkm s Read with its s Re mosd ad alre o Groelin vhuuat pu ,ingoute ide s w ink eg in a hotel bar. The sense of been at th Whdge pled colo y fo in Theres something quite a uring about t w at the Thomatt Th Ih n tthe g eas s ore t at hintner’ s, wunfat m ll s a Bulleit Ryece, of mystery and briefly, fleetino ly intersectarg li ,ves, in a place that is at once home a part to p al y in this, surely, with the institutages to pro ruces guises over the years housing omanvte evrer ts, capers, murder plots and the likt cleafice it to say, however, that The Jolly ist ully fingerand not home. The cinematic imagination hasIn the g ear t D bv e wa ey Hotvy manages es t si n e ance a f seniority e lins stayed in room 204 and f th e e mighera nble Old St o have a drink and r let. e o hven do craft beer! Ito’ t The Ihy is tthat traVine Gin din idv ual alleviates her anxiety at s. It blmi sar sulihesurroundings by recourse to p o ographore I t ing with her environment from the stance of the quotidian f ro m; so too the t with a striipth ‘banter’, or the death-spasms of th ernce proud colonial mindset that served orica y so well as a comfort blanket for the Qr silenueen’ ce. jects’ baser sensibilities at the cost SILENCIO, PLEASE! Among the new batch of contenders (Amy Austin, Ohana) which opened PC is El Silencio FFF. The speakeasy is tucked away through a magic door in Pablo Picante’s on Clarendon Market. Now that we’re adjusting to the €9 accompanying meal concept, having a burrito bar beneath your feet adds even more allure to the joint. “We have new cages in El Silencio to disguise the perspex...pawn shop chic inspired by the redneck bar stage in Blues Brothers,” says owner Colm McNamara. Tacos, tostadas, margaritas and a bit of hush, naturally. @el_silencio_fff Wednesday - Sunday, 5pm-7pm, 7pm-9pm, 9pm-close. DM them for reservations. h t bdit, a of m ur g v tod y’a s Dublin is to fin bd o t tut wh t pat the buillding tiinla s au ns. In loo Gr ur ta named as it was after t e cu ler’r tt D b t Denmark Su eet which e s f th according to the C d a nine q used to be used fo g ore peroraking times)bliseh a new idenitity, tht l rapen ion Sontag notes how th pose, is th The Ivy stands on the elegant corner site at the junction of Parliament Street and Dame Street, rejuvenating the space that used to be The Thomas Read, figurehead of the doomed pub group which was feasted on by fellow publicans following its collapse in 2008. The status quo for new bar concepts in u lin is t aegns. In look ma , un ssuming byr eh ith n h flohm n w Ivy has, to its cre t52t at part ticee peo g t le most temptingly obvious route. n th Ivy is a sister bar to House on Leeson Street, 37 Dawson Street and Xico on Baggot Street (amongst others) run by businessman Alan Clancy. Like each of those bars of those bars, The Ivy is not playing for cutting edge or kooky. In fact even more so than its siblings, this bar cen re you go e ias s prett er for fa’thers-in-waiting as theirunny. the niceties are observed! A chilled coupe glass. A stitutions before le loved one rolls into the Rotunbamboo knot fi en its proximity to The Swan, an ac ual real mine a bone-dry gin martini built on Tanqueray Ten. They are both good drinks and worth the twelve euro price tags. Brian, our bartender tells us of a recent run on espresso martinis that caused the coffee machine to pack in. That’s where we’re at. We go on to put down two solid negronis, made 50/50. All the while I can’t shake the feeling that I can’t think of a good reason not to be somewhere else. I’m not referring to the company, it’s just that it feels like a place without a raison ‘etre. Perhaps the raison d’etre is simply to generate revenue for the Press Up Group. I need more than this, even taking into account the ‘unobtrusive power outlets on the customer side of the bar.’ It’s not a bad spot, just unnecessary, especially I’m glad this lies outside my remit. There is a “boilermaker” list, and I think this is conceptually a good thing; a boilermaker is simply a beer and a shot; you don’t pour the one into the other, and to have well-chosen pairings of beers and whiskeys is a sound idea and can be done very well. Unfortunately, to execute it requires either a decent selection of beer or a decent selection of whiskey, preferably both, and we’re out of luck here, on two counts. Five Lamps and Tullamore Dew isn’t really going to do it. There are four American whiskeys available in Huck’s – there are many more vodkas and flavoured gins – and two of those are Jack Daniel’s. I look over the cocktail menu. The drinks all een a give way to an implacable sadnn in itio ess. Thht ta e bomaks Read had already b en doin toe ring in life, that make your l ughoer very qe cinklyematic imaginat’s kithc t a part to p a e Th of his t-shirt reads ‘Thy’a s D b at shine ft th t p ae spaotlight’ in cy has, tve, un inside don’t need th nd h ng your bar’s h It oursi o say times)bli h a new idenititlyl, t used to be uselikod f r (in m s. It ttho tig to esta ers, that Tht ur o y a picture of a candle. Hhe Thill return m loementahros ily to recite a poem o ut w t phmore Eng e o b older (A2 size m f m Pt The Ivy stands on the elegant corner site at the junction of Parliament Street and Dame Street, rejuvenating the space that used to be The Thomas Read, figurehead of the doomed pub group which was feasted on by fellow publicans following its collapse in 2008. The status quo for new bar concepts in have Mark Twain themed names, which is a nice touch and is all well and good until you come to look at what’s actually in them. Poor old aunt Polly, for all her failings, does not deserve to have her name given to a mix of “Absolut Vanilla, green apple and ginger purée, lime and red wine float.” No-one does. A concoction called “Steam Boat” has Olmeca tequila in it. “The Duke and the King” leads with Slane whiskey. There is something with Bombay Sapphire “East” gin and something with hazelnut liqueur The only safe option when faced with this sort p wahen t eaee at was a er tsye cuhe Shelbourne, Then t -articu ar corner of the cit s iThiy for irritathing it i Whatad h’s the oldest hotel in the rby indi idv uahi tor vas oricallr l ys it s nam d a re in other. I h enormou e used for (in mns. In lo king to es aapba J hn’ew idenh a ns pizza bo, the at on t aah o its crar t, a th ided g pens awn te s a today’s D b 5. o f d oin b f hi hat t e builldingrner o aeoore au enycbimes) Stefan’s money. Stoney Paul loses the run of himself and orders an espresso martini, the rest of us make do with some well made Aperol spritzes. The BYOB table is now populated by a woman self-consciously reading a book and a chap furiously scribbling in his Moleskine. You get a lot of that hereabouts. Service is generally cheery but on less clement tiof the fa s, to i n om J ly she Ch. llin tingly by ob io s r a en e tt y eg abeen doulde vib , b trt b or’s ha Ivy hahaouts cre er ad h t tempadlde wv ow v 52 anhin ular corner owoo. That Thre Jo y Msafe dit ik is a costanw mfe uo inabrble count to Me blog dates back toitn anter, o tu peak of (b 1809 when it was opened by o establisah a n w idenrrays of freso immeadia e fld a ’ o slooided goramwn the hings and photograerlit), a u lin vintners car a Mrs McCloryQ Michael Col o having a de en f lace f r ibie; i he s b d wh e 44 vad of fing doed ethc ps beinog a li tle ov h ni l mindset that serv historically so well as a comfort blanket for t o gi es Ab lbl’, The Iel the b t p o co. ueen’s svbjy a sensteensibilities at the cos os ble chu ects’ b-aser scifix necklace passes by us a Ivy is a sister bar to House on Leeson Street, 37 Dawson Street and Xico on Baggot Street (amongst others) run by businessman Alan Clancy. Like each of those bars of those bars, The Ivy is not playing for cutting edge or kooky. In fact even more so than its siblings, this bar v t por a ne ar per a ve-up, The Englis wers ah ‘b aws r the death-spasm f the otnce pro p sud colo ow ts guests ajugau n tion ooeve o evenings the servers are less inclined to venture out for orders. I can’t really blame them. There are things to eat too, should you require them. The menu has recently been revamped and I’m hearing good things. I can vouch for the fish and chips. Certain elements could be helped - the awning at the back (end of the space) has been non-functional for about two years, ditto the heater at the front. The new chairs will make bar. They are also patrons of this magazine without whom s ov wese r t. ‘A and workshope Drinks of thior the Luxardo cherriest. A bottle ofb. We repair to it w t ou pu Carpano Antica F i h ula yields a feere aops offered them the opportunity I’m not referring to my liver or mental health. The cost of these superb elixirs ranged between thirteen and eighteen euros. Each was worth the price. You are paying for top-drawer ingredients and glassware as well as the expertise and intuition of the guy with the shaker. If you want an eight euro Sex on the Beach take yourself off to TGI Friday’s. It is not by accident that the place has won Best Hotel Cocktail Bar at The Irish Craft Cocktail Awards for two years straight. We regard certain restaurants as special occasion places so why not a bar? In the same way that you don’t saunter into Eleven Madison Park because you’re peckish, you won’t be dropping in here to cure a mid-week hangover, or heaven forfend, for a ‘rake of pints’. It’s for special. Wear some adult shoes and run a comb through your hair. Chin-chin! braces here, just bracers anpped out for one ofur Martini Rossi. And the whole thing doesn’t taste of a damn thing. pints is never in doubt. We roll on to meet Jerry ‘Two Jacks’, a fellow traveler from our university days, in Grogan’s. He’s back from London on business and in unusually pleasant form. I’ve never been the biggest fan of the shop but I respect its essential Grogan’sness. It is very much what it is. The Lucky Duck just isn’t and I can’t see time changing that. Like everything that they touch, it bears the feel of something curated rather than created. The bought-in talent do their design job and it stops there. There is taste but no flavour. There are never any of the rough edges that might snag your interest or catch that place where loyalty begins. Money doesn’t make this happen, that is a canard. This is the opposite of a passion project. I hear that the boss man at Press Up doesn’t take a drink. Uh huh, makes sense. ut it is then discretely swad the propriety of o to revamp and extend their theme. Should I be in costume? Should it be? Is for that, we are also simply *I just took a break from writing this to meet an old friend, only to find that the outdoor space at Pinxto’s is now a non-smoking space. The place is now dead to me. We repaired instead to the very subject of this ‘review’ and enjoyed a slightly too cold cheese board and a couple of decent pours of wine. A very seviceable Picpoul and a Gamay that would give Beaujolais a good name if I could only remember it. ing to capture here on Camden Street, where he never was, and what he would have made of it? He never signed up for this. Consulting Thom’s Directory for the period, this building, number eight Camden Street, was home to the Boland brothers, coachmakers, with a (very prosperous!) rateable valuation of 23 pounds in 1862, a couple of years before The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County made it into print but, thankfully, not into a cocktail. there an essence of Mark Twain that we are trygrateful. The Jolly Monk 52 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1 01-8728188 www.thejollymonk.ie Gardiner Row/Great Denmark Street, Dublin 1 castle-hotel.ie “By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man’s, I mean.” BW *I mean that figuratively of course, I was not literally overwhelmed by women. I don’t know what to make of a bar with a we would cease to exist and s qda. And now the slowdown has orm t debate. Thw drre n,o uality come at a price and your ass feel as if it is being griddled. People have been known to use copies of this august journal to protect their flanks. If that burning orb in the firmament does make itself known get a crew together and try it out for size. I may be there but don’t let that put you off. neither extensive nor minimal, but with enough selection to keep brewheads happy. Their signature cocktail is the Negroni, with a heapful of variations on the menu. I plumped for a Boulevardier (€9) made with Bulleit bourbon which was really tastily balanced between sweet and bitter. The Ivy styles itself as “luxurious continental t waes of Fy fnet-Braace rye. And some ofa to calm our conaving. rar therBrc us prour revr ma ’ Atio oe a tks mor e.o onming in Ben’s e of carry-on is the canon, so I call for a Manhat choices, ye at t At thoint. We pen. ‘ e’ udens a stay ofly drink a coueperhit, but tan, opting for Buffalo Tr nc y not b f five t e as we exit, wav a ma Covid – ite t’ct hn ooem was sle - y bably by a ra nton as ear f cifix necklace passes by us as we return to ou t hi e bo ths pe b o lf ths e ven t wa it stands next door to wherereeax. Th y e The t er n t ble thing ab s u it’ do ther helmingly* p inlat d bt to puy the fairer sex, There m y o iew? the hotel running throughout ing s saele t ioe pf craft b o a Harry Clarke had his first shops to opug t . They’ve k ld lad in der in tand of Exc e, is tquer St u p to tve pa ron e auept The Ivy 1-4 Parliament Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 8 theivydublin.ie 01-6718267 of tt reminded m erther. This, I suppose h he real pitfall of the hotel bar for the The Ivy 1-4 Parliament Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 8 theivydublin.ie 01-6718267 native population: here, everyone is an outsi ‘Everyone’s a spicer,’ Anton suggests. An old man wearing a slightly-too-large c native population: here, eve ‘Everyone’s a spicer,’ Anton An old man wearing a sli e citur sch lleme, sornpeome Hergs, -tidian f ro m; so too th eers, a tita, t, w r (in mt a sh ps bo es t ver Wynn’ t on tma Nope,vh itt’ide Too g do ve or bs i. ad tht o esham,e, Bry thtis or Buswells? tc e a orem tat- n tio o 44, t t, a oa sosd g inetcaastle Hotel ontrawn theg indi idv ual alleviates her anxiety at en th Ivy is a sister bar to House on Leeson Street, 37 Dawson Street and Xico on Baggot Street (amongst others) run by businessman Alan Clancy. Like each of those bars of those bars, The Ivy is not playing for cutting edge or kooky. In fact even more so than its siblings, this bar h fy’s i n capital? Tts es t Dus inf s t ougr dent aeoore au en ctif in nisthdd beour st wrie a ge. Susa omas Re m ad alrpady been dous roeuc .teling nea In t ler’s s blib hm ’em d cfltas h ’ comttproauns t hint h s cats oen ve-upheir psychic Queen’o , Th os eme tingse tbv eir phkones s t e greaaoe tya, a g w ver voat s y o hio d h, s carve-uhy, engaging with her en irv onm cifix neck ce of thort rapp, Thea we h dings b e ha mi et urroun The Ivy 1-4 Parlia Temple B theivydub 01-67182 li kar ses t em i y recourse to p oh t ent from w at the Ths when p t teople utlold) aning used t s f IN WITH THE OLDo t howtityxes on their laps (tEnglishm and hang your bar’s h Ivy h s, tt. Hobedi’s ki h’ named as it was after t e cu ler’r tt Dub e corner o r e-up, The een at ts own, printli d o t in ahe city for thoatiro te?) alisbo u what te w ing a marItini g ass at tlin vintner’s ca vf the bar an omas Re m ad alrpady been dous rou . Monk is less Rita Ha b io ing, s s o e. S aeoore au en c owev av n th o its cre erdi , t ot, avhat’s ad h t tem tingl yworth w f h n tthe g ea re that had at. How v y o v e en itset ulltrawellineg unfamilia y fvn th ingerarticu ar co sh ladsf tu’ we k nd holidayerfas eastan , t c en ooing dot thhet rt of Octf tbooher, I’me onc hlin vinenr adnert creh ac e t tday’s Duves, in a p - tod ose th r s to finbd out wts, c pers, m uff n u lin iom tic tr rom the ar co nur er of th This ior ice in lo kin, hderided going do named as ius guifstes over th er the y rus horin an een ays at the builldingrder plots an s the ts vario ac t was a e cutler’s s ooe that had e city fd th oe Jst wr raphy, eng s e ditin aand ntt home. Th uics hat on that. Hobarion hh wh l y in this, surely, with the instild) atundtear s infus used to be used for (in more authen c times) and hang your bar’ wever, t a Ivy is a sister bar to House on Leeson Street, 37 Dawson Street and Xico on Baggot Street (amongst others) run by businessman Alan Clancy. Like each of those bars of those bars, The Ivy is not playing for cutting edge or kook In fact even more so than its siblings, this bar ls f s than adf e precarious emotional statof the sub e of the a part to play in this, surely, tion in its various guises ove romantic trysts, capers, mur like. Suffice it to say, howev Monk is less Rita Hayworth ing a martini glass at the co more English lads’ weekend from Papa John’s pizza boxe bar’s kitchen opens at the st told) and heckling nearby in ous infringements on their This is the precarious emoti tourist writ large. Susan Son travelling individual alleviat unfamiliar surroundings by raphy, engaging with her en safe distance of the quotidia Englishman with ‘banter’, or of the once proud colonial m historically so well as a com Queen’s subjects’ baser sens of the subjugation of the oth pose, is the real pitfall of the seats after smoking on the terrace. ‘You’re so h pa py,’ he stops to say to me. ‘I wish I was that happy!’ It’s one of those exchanges, rarelblin i The Ivy stands on the elegant corner site at the junction of Parliament Street and Dame Street, rejuvenating the space that used to be The Thomas Read, figurehead of the doomed pub group which was feasted on by fellow publicans following its collapse in 2008. The status quo for new bar concepts in aarticu idea of drinking in a hotel b impermanence, of mystery intersecting lives, in a place and not home. The cinemat e sense of ing a mar hmore Eng tion in its romantic like. Suffi s at once hg ftirom Papa al comfs sru native pop ‘Everyone An old ABBEY HOUR The Jolly Monk ABBEY HOUR ‘It’s weird how monks are al it?’ I ask Anton as we appro the newly renovated bar of mean, as in you would thin prohibited or something.’ ‘What’s weird about that? The Jolly Monk ‘It’s weird it?’ I ask A the newly mean, as i prohibited ‘What’s ‘It’s weird how monks are allowed to drink, i it?’ I ask Anton as we approach The Jolly Mo the newly renovated bar of the Abbey Hotel. mean, as in you would think drinking would ‘I suppose I thought that ‘They named a bar after t he says. ‘Name one profession that doesn’t.’ I think for a moment. he says. ‘N think for ‘I suppo ‘They n he says. ‘Name one professio think for a moment. you idiot,’ who looks beer stein in though There’s you idiot,’ he says. ‘Look at who looks like Neil Morriss beer stein with a smile on h in thought: ‘I suppose child There’s something quite a a part to p prohibited or something.’ ‘What’s weird about that? Everybody drink idea of dr imperman intersectin and not h ‘I suppose I thought that the monk was on ‘They named a bar after the monk’s drinki you idiot,’ he says. ‘Look at the sign!’ A mon who looks like Neil Morrissey is holding alof beer stein with a smile on his face. Anton pa in thought: ‘I suppose childminders, maybe.’ There’s something quite alluring about the idea of drinking in a hotel bar. Th Monk is l impermanence, of mystery and briefly, fleeti intersecoing li y occurs to flind out wace th hat iat t e buildino The Ivy stands on the elegant corner site at the junction of Parliament Street and Dame Street rejuvenating the space that used to be The Thomas Read, figurehead of the doomed pub group which was feasted on by fellow publican following its collapse in 2008. The status quo for new bar concepts in style bar”, suited to “watching the world go by whilst regaling old times”. While its oldness is contrived, it’s also strangely convincing. We probably all know some people who can’t wait to be grown-up, for whom it seems engagement rings and mortgages are one and two on the life agenda. This bar, born old, seems like a good fit for them.