We’ve been thinking for a while now on what we’d say when we penned our thoughts on L Mulligan Grocer. After some discussion we loosely came to agree that the pub – which is a mainstay of a gentrified Stoneybatter, is one which must firstly be commended. The reason we commend this pub is down to the fact that its owner’s have managed to transform an old school Dublin boozer into a modern gastropub while retaining all the glorious features of said old-school boozer. And judging by the crowd when we arrived of a summer’s afternoon – they’ve managed to make a success of it.
Alas though it’s not all plain sailing as far as this piece goes. I knew there was trouble ahead when we arrived into the pub and found our way to the bar to order. Now there are a few statements that the lads don’t want to hear in the middle of a session, I mean statements that would be deemed less favourable than news of impending nuclear war. Unfortunately the barman was to utter one of these statements – ‘No Guinness here lads’.
Now anyone familiar with DBP will know the diversity of opinions on crafty options amongst us, me being in favour. But deny the lads a pint of Guinness mid crawl is akin to substituting a toddler’s lollipop for a plate of sprouts. We propped up the bar and tucked into a few very good, yet controversial pints of Porterhouse stout.
The interior of the pub is A1. Tiled and wood flooring lies underfoot, an antique scales sits proudly at the end of the bar. The bar, running the considerable length of the pub is flanked with dinner tables and boasts a wide assortment of options on tap and on cask. The space behind is decorated traditionally hosting antique mirrors and vast selection of whiskey. Where the bar ends the space opens up in volume and in light.
As it would turn out, we didn’t agree on the experience here. L. Mulligan’s, as we did agree, is a fantastic restaurant – the food looked pretty good. But we, seeking the type of rowdy ale house atmosphere we so dearly love weren’t to find it a good suss this time around. And that’s fine. We may head back at a later hour and see if we can find it more pub than restaurant next time around.