It’s funny how places can become romanticized in your head sometimes. Take Marlborough St for example – the street which is freshly paved with new tram tracks and ready to welcome the Luas, and all the rejuvenation that it brings, is one which relatively few Dubliners will have many romantic ideas about. The stretch of the street which Briody’s lies upon (as it’s recalled in my head) wasn’t much to look at, and if it weren’t for Dublin Bus carrying hordes of commuters into the area it surely would have been a no-go area.
Nonetheless, Marlborough St. is one of the city’s avenues I recall with fondness, this is due in no small part to my upbringing in a carless family in northeast of the city. As the street served as a terminus for many northside bus routes, it became the starting point for all of my journeys into the city centre – good, bad and indifferent. Essentially this street was my proverbial wardrobe into Narnia… sorry, I did say romanticised.
Amidst all the busses, the commuters, the addicts and the roadworks alike sits Briody’s – a small and unassuming pub with a green façade. Setting foot in the pub, you immediately feel like you are on familiar territory. Just like wandering into your grannies, you know you’re in good hands. The interior is typical of a good local boozer; tiled flooring greets feet upon entrance before a pristine carpet overtakes the rest of the floor space. Lighter wooden tones are well complimented with beige embossed wallpaper. The seating proved to be tremendously cosy in its simplicity while classic drink brands and sport are the themes exhibited in frames upon the wall. We took a particular shine to a bittersweet portrait of Paul McGrath seen in his heyday sitting at an unidentified bar holding a creamy pint aloft. Speaking of creamy pints, we found no fault whatsoever in the pints pouring at Briody’s, they tick all the right boxes insofar that they were delicious, served in a tulip glass and well under a fiver.
Overall we enjoyed the casualness of this pub, we noted that there seemed to be plenty of characters in amongst the bar and we vowed to return and try our hand at integrating into the fold. It was also nice to take in some of the history of the building which was proudly displayed upon the wall. This informed patrons that the building was dishing out pints under the name of the Olympic Tavern during the Rising in 1916 – a full hundred and one years ago. Here’s to the next hundred and one.