In Dublin, certain pubs are renowned for certain things – you may find that one pub is the go-to place for those seeking a fireplace, another may be the first called upon to watch an important game whereas others are renowned for catching a few tunes. What is unusual, however, is for one pub to hold the title of go-to pub for more than one thing. As it turns out – unusual is a fairly good description of Grogan’s.
If you were to ask a certain subsection of the Dublin drinking population to recommend the go-to television-less pub or the go-to toasty pub this author would wager that Grogan’s would make up the majority of responses that you would receive.
We’re not usually in the habit of commenting on food, but we could hardly mention Grogan’s and not mention the toasty. A toasty, for those unfamiliar is simply a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, these sandwiches have become something of a delicacy amongst pub-goers being the only hot food on offer in many establishments and thusly the only offer of sustenance on a lengthy session.
While there may be better toasties available in the city, the toasty experience in Grogan’s is certainly the best. The simple act of providing the customer with a jar of old English mustard to do with as they please is symbolic. It’s a symbol of trust, there’s no bigger slap in the face, no bigger insult than being furnished with a solitary sachet of cheap condiment. The act simply screams of distrust. In Grogan’s they tell you that they trust you, they know you might be tempted to use too much mustard, or to take the jar home, but it’s a risk they’re willing to take.
Aesthetically, this is an ordinary pub made extraordinary. The ordinary being patterned carpet, chestnut panelling, mundane white tiled ceiling, and the extraordinary being provided by the ever-changing multitude of artworks scattered across the walls and the odd bit of stained glass contrasting the dull light attempted by the wooden panelling.
The pint warranted no complaints. Well poured and high quality – the price differed by 20 cent between two barmen for some reason but nonetheless the D2 tax was certainly in effect.
Overall Grogan’s is a beacon for the future of Dublin Pubs, the reverence afforded to it by a younger crowd demonstrates that the popularity of the traditional Dublin Pub experience still stands strong within the city. .