One of the best things about Dublin City from the perspective of three trainee pintmen is the layout of pubs across the city. The convenient proliferation of drinking establishments along single avenues is an aspect of the city that facilitates fantastic sessions.
We’re often confused when people pay outside entities to organise pub crawls for them. I mean, it’s not exactly open-heart surgery. Here’s the secret to a good pub crawl – pick a street with 5 or more boozers and drink your way from one end to another. Right!? You all owe me a tenner.
We undertook one such crawl during the summer and it has swiftly become the crawl we find ourselves recommending the most: The Stoneybatter Mile – Hanlon’s to the Cobblestone. This is a crawl that caters for all demographics, it has the traditional, the quirky and the crafty, then comes Tommy O Gara’s.
We almost immediately agreed that this boozer was alike a country pub that had been scooped from its foundations beyond the pale and planted square in the centre of Stoneybatter. The aesthetic is a common one seen throughout the country – mild wooden tones meld with carpet upon entrance as the space opens up to embrace tiled flooring toward the back of the bar. We recognised straight away that this was a solid GAA pub, not only from the ephemera across the walls but also due to the prominence given to the Leinster Semi-Final between Kilkenny and Wexford which left soccer fans to seek the clashing international fixtures elsewhere.
Sitting toward the back at one of the type of tables you might recall from The Snapper (those with an additional tier, in order to facilitate the storage of more pints) we devoured three well-crafted pints and took in the hurling. As the match drew to a close, the lads, being better versed in the topic of popular competitive sports than I, deemed the pub to be the best spot for a match in Stoneybatter. Me, I’d happily return to watch flies race if needs must.
O Gara’s is a good no-nonsense pub and a fine antithesis to the notions of a Stoneybatter that seems to be ever-gentrifying.