In stoic defiance, they stand before me with their arms folded and their serious faces downcast. One of them repeats what the other has already said – but this time in a different phrasing:
Look, it’s not happening tonight pal. You’ve had too much to drink. Just leave the premises, please.
I think it’s fair to assume that a majority of the drinking population of this country have found themselves in this position before – being wrongly, or in my case – rightly, refused permission to enter a premises on account of what the gatekeepers have perceived to be intoxication. But what if I told you that this place that I was being refused from on this particular occasion wasn’t actually a pub or a nightclub? What if I told you it was, in fact, Connolly Train Station?
You might be wondering, as most tend to do when I tell them this tale, how it actually came to this – what could I have possibly done to be disbarred from one of the city’s major transport hubs? Well, to figure that out, we first have to backtrack a few hours.
It was, as these things often are, at the Christmastime of the year and your humble author was finishing up his day’s work and getting ready to set out for his debut appearance at an Office Christmas Party in the company he had started working in a few months prior. Being of a shy persuasion, it was a given that some Dutch courage was on the pre-party agenda and on foot of that I arrived at a very busy, IFSC-adjacent pub and found what felt like the last available pint-perch in the city that night.
A few lip-looseners later, I was IFSC-bound and crossing the threshold of Lagoona. Wasting no time, I made for the bar and found myself behind a polished chrome standalone tap whose badge identified it as an experimental nitro pale ale. Hung upon this tap was a small sign denoting that this particular brew was the beer of the month, and as a result, was being sold at a discount –a bargain I could not ignore at the time.
Lagoona Bar, itself, is not somewhere that’s ever endeared itself to me. A perfunctory space set amidst the offices of the financial service companies who neighbour it, it has the sort of vibe exuded by certain spaces in Dublin Airport where beer and spirits are sold for pre-plane, open consumption. Exclusively bedecked with high seating and shiny surfaces, it’s not somewhere to cosy up into – it is precisely the sort of place that its granite, ground-floor of an apartment complex, frontage would lead you to believe it is. After-work pints and Christmas parties for companies who’ve left the booking a bit late are par for the course here.
But, putting aside my indifference to its aesthetic, it was a perfectly fine and functional space for that Christmas party when I was at it – well what I can remember of the night – which admittedly is little, compared to some of my fellow attendees. It was after about five or so of these discounted nitro IPAs, I came to realise that their ABV was far higher than I had anticipated. From there on the evening, like the IPA itself, gets a bit hazy.
The next major memory of the evening finds me in Connolly Station admonishing a member of the security staff there for not “carrying out his public service obligations” by refusing to allow me to travel on one of the late DARTs which had been specifically timetabled to ferry home drunken Christmas partiers. The man, who was genuinely concerned for my safety (fair play to him) eventually relented with a stern warning for me to not fall onto the tracks. I gave him my word that I would not, slurred and all as it was.
I proceeded to board that late DART and by some minor miracle managed to notice I was on the wrong line. Disembarking early, as a result of this, I began some sort of Odyssey where I took a wrong turn and ended up in an unfamiliar part of a housing estate in Donaghmede and walked in circles for what felt like about three hours. The next morning revealed a Facebook friend request from a colleague – accompanied by a private message from them enquiring as to my welfare after I took ‘that bad fall off the bar stool’. Once I’d established this to actually be true and not a practical joke, I suppressed the associated mortification knowing that it needn’t be dealt with until late into Sunday. I then rose to wash and dress only to realise that I had lost one of my shoes at some stage in the evening.
My apologies to anyone who came here to read about The Lagoona Bar and has made it this far through the tale of the greatest dose of The Fear I’ve ever had in my life. I’m sorry to not be able to report on the standard or the price of the pint, too. For more familiar readers of this blog, it will surely be no surprise that we’re not corralling groups to bound on up to the IFSC and check The Lagoona out. It’s a pub that is what it is – an after-work drinks spot, a work-leaving party spot, a cheeky lunchtime pint spot, a remind you of the reason you’re not employed in that company anymore spot and we’re absolutely fine with all of that.
Update: Have been meaning to write this one up for a matter of years, but found out that the pub had permanently closed a mere couple of days after it was finally written. This is also why our image of the pub shows it while shut. So farewell Lagoona, as we currently know it.