In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania there sits a large metal bell – the bell is almost a tonne in weight, over a metre wide and 265 years old. Named The Liberty Bell, it is a symbol of American freedom and boasts a commendable 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Reviewers advise of an average waiting time of 20 minutes to gain admittance to see the bell. Catherine H calls it a “Must See” and Bill E asks “Why wouldn’t you?”
Well, Bill, aside from the hefty airfare, the main reason I wouldn’t is down to the fact that we Dubliners happen to have our very own Liberty Bell here in the city. And this particular Liberty Bell incurs neither cover charge, nor any twenty-minute wait and unlike its Philadelphian counterpart, it dishes out creamy pints of stout.
We were last in the Liberty Belle on a weekend evening not so long ago, none of us had ever darkened the door of the pub prior to this and truth be told we had relatively few preconceptions of the pub compared to some others we have made debut visits to prior. First impressions of the pub were quite good – we agreed that it had been aptly named insofar that it was the most attractive looking of the pubs of Francis St.
The exterior with its painted signage and hanging baskets serves as a welcoming sight to a thirsty set of eyes. The interior is rather homely with its carpeted floor, glass-panelled doors and curtains. Copper vessels decorate shelf space and the bar is back-lit with an effective ambience afforded by stained glass which frames a large mirror bearing the name of the pub and an image of a Japanese geisha girl.
We sat in one of the booths that were partitioned from one another with wooden dowels. We remarked how the partitions offered no visual privacy but did provide a comfortable sense of ownership to any occupying group who chose to sit there. We lowered a couple of very good pints as a few locals engaged us in a bit of chat. The overall vibe was very warm; a healthy mix of new and old liberty locals afforded the place original warmth which we greatly enjoyed basking in.
We wondered why we left it so late to get into this boozer and all agreed we’d certainly be back.