Sitting at the mouth of The Liberties lies a street which is as intrinsically Dublin as a bowl of coddle, singing Molly Malone on Hill 16. The Coombe is said to have been a valley which was carved by a tributary which fed the river which gave birth to Dublin: The Poddle. And it’s arguable that this valley is still feeding the lifeblood of Dublin by dishing out creamy scoops to welcome folk beyond the boundaries of the Liberties.
In our exploration of the pubs of Dublin, we’ve visited many places and the truth be told, sometimes one has to scratch under the surface to seek out the magic of a premises. But that said, sometimes you know you’re on hallowed ground the minute you cross the threshold of a pub. Of these sorts of pubs, Fallon’s is the latter.
We’ve been in Fallon’s a few times over the last month and both busy and quiet occasions and we’ve had some ups and some downs.
Visually the pub could not be mistaken for any other type than that of the Irish variety. Eyes that enjoy the sight of an excellent traditional pub will light up upon entry. The floor is unvarnished, un-sanded and scuffed to perfection. A relatively large snug occupies much of the front of the small pub. The exposed tan brickwork adds further to the place’s primitive aesthetic. A large cast iron stove/range sits at the rear of the room, the walls surrounding which bear the scars of harbouring such a device. Varied drinking ephemera alongside historical framings of local interest occupy wall space throughout. Most notably, there is a wedding portrait affixed to the ceiling, just beyond the door. Lore has it that this was put there for the benefit of an old local who would often find himself on the floor after one too many – the idea being that it would remind him to return home to his loving bride.
The crowd here tends to consist of a mix of younger locals mixed in with a few elders and a couple of tourists for good measure too. As for the pint – this was in the top three of the year. We wondered if a pipe ran directly from James’ gate such was the calibre of creaminess. And under a fiver too.
The pub is definitely a hidden gem when it comes to older untouched places in the city. The only detractors from the experience are an unwaveringly narky Barman. But this won’t discourage us from visiting again.