Walsh’s: Stoneybatter

When we arrived to Walsh’s we were at the tail end of a crawl and were merry enough from the pints. Being a weekend evening, the bar was busy enough. The sun was low in the sky and beamed in through the windows intensifying the iridescence of the golden liquors bottled behind the bar. We made for the back of the bar and cosied in to a section to savour the last moments before the deluge of pints began to take a more incapacitating hold.

The pub itself is pristine. Dark panelled wood along the bottom of the walls is balanced nicely with a beige tone on the upper half. There’s a tasty little snug just beyond the threshold which sits before the start of the bar.

The décor is standard. Various team photos accompany old cigarette, beer and whiskey ads along the wall, the further side of the bar houses a US mail letter box for reasons unbeknownst to us. This side of the bar also boasts a toasty looking fireplace which certainly warrants a subsequent winter visit as far as I’m concerned.

The pint was of a high standard and the staff were attentive and competent overall. And although we’d an enjoyable couple of scoops there during our stay, I couldn’t help but think to myself that I’d appreciate a pub like this more so during the colder parts of the year. Nonetheless we’d certainly give Walsh’s the DBP thumbs up and personally I’m looking forward to dropping in again… with a bit of a clearer head.

Hyne’s: Prussia St.

We were fairly taken with the whole pintman thing when it took off on the net earlier during the year. It shone a light on a culture we’d been in the middle of for years. It had it all: pints, pubs, and more pints, what more could one ask for.

Unfortunately brand pintman slowly but surely became a victim of its own success and the author finds nowadays that your average facebook “pintman” is a techy seventeen year old who can barely hold a few bottles of smirnoff ice in some midland English wetherspoons, let alone keep a feed of stout down in a Dublin boozer.

Let it not be said that we’re sad that it’s over be rather we’re happy that it happenedand and just as Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris – We’ll always have Hynes, Paddy.

Hyne’s, became somewhat of an overnight drinking mecca due to the popularity of the aforementioned pintman craze. Said to be the main man Paddy Losty’s local the pub is now enshrined in landscape of famous Dublin boozers. Of course we had to go and have a look.

Entering the bar on a sunny afternoon we sat at the end of the bar and were greeted by the barman who took our order and asked us if we wanted the use of the telly. He put on the match for us and returned us a few top-notch pints.

The long bar boasts a fair amount of exposed red brick which the majority of us agreed was pleasing to eye. Our table was a repurposed singer sewing table which was a taking point also. The place was nicely lit given that the sun was beaming from the door straight through the length of the bar. One of the lads reckoned it was a bit spiritual “like newgrange and tha” but that was probably just the pints kicking in.

The locals were good craic and Paddy’s legacy was well protected with the amount of pints been put away by some of them. All in all Hyne’s is a solid shop. Great pint, great staff and sound locals. Well worth a look.

Hanlon’s: Hanlon’s Corner

Recently we were pinting of a weekend in Stoneybatter and took in Hanlon’s (amongst others). We arrived mid-afternoon, still a touch tender from the previous night’s shenanigans.

We settled in the bar which ticked all the proverbial aesthetic boxes – it being sectioned by dark woodwork which contrasted well with a lighter mosaic tiling underfoot. Panoramic windows left older patron’s eyes unstrained in the reading of their papers as they propped up against a bar which runs along the space in harmony with the shape of building. Sitting at this bar one could gaze in appreciation of an antique register behind it; whilst another could look beyond it and muse over a clay head that was either a toddler’s art homework or a medical study of the woes of elephantiasis.

The pint was grand; drinkable and well under a fiver. We ordered a cordial at no charge too which deserves an honourable mention. The locals were of good character, I’d a bit of an earwig on a few lads debating over what year Dublin Bus introduced power steering and it was like listening to some sort of unearthed Sean O Casey text.

About halfway through our jars, an elder local who happened to be garbed entirely in golfing gear arrived and duly ordered a pint. Having settled beside us we noticed that he was scoping us out a bit. Upon a lull in our chat he sensed his opening and interjected by thrusting a finger toward one our pints and merrily asked “What’s that..?” A bit taken aback one of us responded “That’s a lovely big pint is what that is”. Unsatisfied with our answer he replied asking “Dyis wanna know what that is?” “G’wan” we answered. He paused before finally answering “That’s a cappuccino!” he proudly exclaimed. “A cappuccino, that what that is” he suffixed in the midst of our bemused laughter.

He went on to regale us with tales of his golfing career to date all while ignoring the seven or so questions we asked about how his game had went that day. As we polished the dregs of our jars and made for the exit the encounter was made all the more strange as our golfing buddy requested one of the lads to sit on his lap. He politely declined.

The Swan: Aungier St.

It was one of them poxy November evenings where the depression onset from daylight savings’ early darkness had begun to set in. The rain was pissing out of the heavens and train was rammed. A pint was in order. As I drew closer to town I fumbled amongst the crush to retrieve my phone and made a call to Pintman №2, inquiring after the progress he himself was making into town. “Still in poxy work!” says he. “Bollix to that” says I.” Grab a spot somewhere and I’ll follow ya in sure” says he. “Grand” says I.

So after disembarking I wander up Westland Row and head toward the Grafton St. area. A quick bit of sustenance and I’m on the look out for a pub only to make the unfortunate realisation that everywhere is jammed with the only thing worse than the Christmas party crowd: The early Christmas party crowd. All of them carefully gowned in their illuminated woolly jumpers and fluffy red hats.

In the midst of my frantic dash around the South City Centre trying to find any boozer with a spare spot and a lingering degree of cosiness, I find myself pushing ever so further out of the city. And then as I wander around by the back of the College of Surgeons, it comes to me. The Swan! Of course! Up to the swan I hastily traipse to find the place reasonable populated and with enough spare seats to lighten my mood. No sooner have I placed my sopping coat on a high stool do I have a good pint of plain in my hand and all is okay once again.

The Swan as it turned out was the best possible pub to arrive into from a rainy November night. Another Victorian gem with all the furniture and fixings one should expect from a Victorian spot. A marble bar runs the length and is nicely complimented by the mosaic tiling on the floor. Another essential visit for seekers of authentic historic Dublin Pubs.

Content again I make another phonecall to Pintman №2 who is less than impressed having found himself on a stationary train. “Why is it stuck?” says I. “There’s a swan on the tracks at Landsdowne” says he. “Jaysis” says I. “Where did ye settle in the end” says he. “The Swan” says I. “Fuck off” says he.

McDaids: Harry St.

A stone’s throw away from the relentless footfall of shoppers and buskers alike, beyond the haze of pollen that recedes to reveal the bronzed likeness of a rockstar smiling there sits a pub which purports itself to be established in 1779. The pub’s oversized frontage engulfs any passer’s view with its navy blue façade trimmed in deep red. Its painted sign simply reads: McDaids.

There’s no getting away from the literary heritage of this pub which was a haunt of many of Irelands’ famous post-war writers. Patrick Kavanagh could be found here coaxing large drinks out of generous admirers by referring to his order as a “ball of malt” rather than a double whiskey. The walls of the pub serve as an instant reminder of the above – they being littered in portraits of these famous former locals.

The interior of the pub, as it appeared on a sunny early midweek afternoon is striking. The large windows to the front of the pub along with the mirrors inside afford it a great deal of illumination while the smaller stained glass windows play with the colour of the light in just the right proportions. Alike many of its contemporary locations; dark wood is the foremost building material utilised in the interior of the pub. What sets the place apart, however, is the use of green tiling upon the wood which serves to brighten up the darkening effect of the wood. The walls are decorated with the usual pub hangings along with all the writer’s portraits.

The pint was good. Not into the superior grade of creaminess but certainly drinkable. What was harder to swallow was the price. We’re definitely beginning to see a trend in this part of D2 which is a terrible shame to be entirely honest. You’ll always need more than a fiver for a jar around here it seems. Other than the price the only other gripe is the jaxx. The trek up the stairs is somewhat annoying and trickily treacherous after a good lock of jars.

McDaid’s is another icon of Dublin’s drinking topography, a great looking boozer and in the heart of the city. It’d be rude not to drop in once in a while.

The Celt: Talbot St.

The Celt is an odd one, although it’s not to the best of the author’s knowledge advertised, marketed or described as a tourist bar it somehow is. Now, when we say tourist bar we’re not in this instance likening it to some of the purveyors of extortionately priced paddywhackery in Temple Bar but anytime we’ve been in there has always been a healthy abundance of tourists tucking into stews or plates of cabbage alike.

The décor here is fairly traditional, it’s not the most polished of spaces but its roughness supplements its charm. The standard old Irish pub paraphernalia makes up the decoration with whiskey jugs and black and white portraits all around. Threadbare wood and red slate flooring set the visual tone of the pub which is well set out for a small enough room.

We’ve been in a few times, one of which was in the midst of a crawl where we arrived in to a bit of music which melded nicely into the background. The pint was decent enough and was drank without complaint. There was a decent mix of locals and tourist and the vibe was friendly with a touch of strange given that there was a Japanese warrior (whom some of us recognized as a busker from Grafton St.) at the bar having a pint.

On the whole we can’t fault The Celt too much. It’s the good type of tourist pub and the type we’d recommend over those money grabbing bastards in Temple Bar any day.