Saturday 10 December 2016

Owners in it for long haul as Dublin pub celebrates 250 years

Greg Harkin

Published 29/08/2016 | 02:30

The Long Hall, Great South Georges Street, Dublin 2. Pic: Doug O'Connor
The Long Hall, Great South Georges Street, Dublin 2. Pic: Doug O'Connor

It has been the favourite Dublin haunt of both the late Phil Lynott and Bruce Springsteen and now one of the capital's most famous pubs is set to celebrate its 250th birthday.

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The Long Hall bar began serving pints of porter to customers in 1766, just seven years after Arthur Guinness had begun brewing ales at St James' Gate and 25 years before Powers Whiskey hit the shelves.

Marcus Houlihan, manager of The Long Hall pub in Georges Street. Photo: Tony Gavin
Marcus Houlihan, manager of The Long Hall pub in Georges Street. Photo: Tony Gavin

The owner, Marcus Houlihan, is planning a birthday party and both of the famous Irish brands are getting ready to join in.

A special Guinness night is planned for October in the bar on South Great George's Street and a 25-year-old edition of Powers Long Hall Bar whiskey will be issued the following month.

For Marcus, it's all about paying tribute to one of Ireland's most atmospheric pubs.

"I actually don't see myself as the bar owner, more a custodian of it for future generations. I am just passing through," he said.

Bruce Springsteen with a fan in the pub in 2013
Bruce Springsteen with a fan in the pub in 2013

The bar, which was first converted from the private home of a magistrate, is popular with locals and tourists alike.

In the 19th century, it became something of a recruitment centre for the Fenians and the IRB.

"The bar licence was granted in 1766 and we couldn't let the 250th birthday pass without marking the occasion," said Marcus, who took over from his father Gerry in 2009.

The legendary pub even featured in the music video for Phil Lynott's hit 'Old Town' and rocker Bruce Springsteen has described it as his "Dublin local", visiting the bar every time that he has been in the capital since 2008.

"It's a very special place for many people. Our job is to preserve it for others to enjoy after we're gone," added Marcus.

Irish Independent

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