The Snug: Stephen Street
Most of the time we aim for tactfulness here on DublinByPub, but other times you need to just tell things as they are. The Snug on Stephen Street is a mad kip! This is a boozer we’ve been in a couple of times over the years and we’ve never left without one story or another.
Take our first visit for example – during the summer a good five or so years ago a small enough group of us decided that it was about time we gave this pub a try. Shimmying past the cluster of smokers stationed upon the threshold – we burst through a literal smokescreen to be greeted by the turning of every single head in the room, an unnerving enough prospect at the time.
Once inside and with most gazes refocussed away once again patrons will begin to take in the look and feel of the pub. Well illuminated space furnished in similarly bright wooden tones provide the look of the pub and tend to pronounce shabbier elements of the room. Hastily hung posters advertising cheap lager provide the feel.
So given that this boozer isn’t exactly an ornate feast for the eyes you might wonder if it has any redeeming charm, and we would have to argue that it does. Victorian cornices and Edwardian wood carvings are fine and enjoyable but none are as entertaining as the locals in The Snug. Roughly attired and roughly voiced – they could easily be described as on the more rambunctious side of boisterous. Occupying the entire front end of the pub they had a day’s drinking under their belt when we arrived on this particular occasion.
Once we’d ordered and settled in with some seriously cheap pints (honestly these are about the cheapest in Dublin City Centre) we managed to catch the attention of one of the more vocal of the regulars. Standing to attention he noisily enquired as to whether we would like to buy any drugs, a question which was met with a cacophony of laughter from the front of the bar.
With full assurance that he was only winding us up given, he then came to join us whereupon he took a shine to one of our gang. Berating us for allowing a “lovely girl like that” to buy her own drink he beckoned the young barman who appeared from behind the bar for a moment only to disappear. Seeing this, our new pal explained to us that the barman had returned to retrieve the key from the register and proudly exclaimed: “I’ve robbed this place loads of times”. Reappearing, the barman took an order from our new mate who returned to the front of the pub only to arrive back to the table with a pint for the ‘lovely girl’. He was to send on two full pints for our pal who caught his eye, being nervous of the situation she decided against drinking them. Yours truly made sure they weren’t to go to waste.
We’d stop short of visiting here frequently ourselves. But we’ll certainly drop in once or twice again, if only for the stories…. and the cheap pints
Went to Dublin with two friends (all of us from NY) several years ago. Ended up at The Snug on a lark. We were told it was the “shadiest bar in all of Dublin”. That description was a touch misleading, but not completely. We actually had a great time in there…all three times we ventured in during that short trip to Dublin. The native patrons were skeptical of us for sure at first, but quickly let their guards down and were very cordial and entertaining. I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for something a bit different in Dublin and not afraid of good working class patrons.