111 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin 1; tel: 01 8305083
Brownest brown is the colour of choice at Bermingham's, a cosy local you could walk past a dozen times without really noticing (with its blank frontage and gloomy ramparts, it looks like a funeral parlor from the 70s). The exterior is a deep chestnut hue; within, the stools, walls, low ceiling, even the bar itself, are various shades of chocolate. All of which conspires to give the establishment the ambiance of a venerable gentlemen's club, an effect heightened by the age profile of the clientele (senior citizens would seem very much in the majority).
It's also much larger than the modest outside would suggest. The interior divides between snug, lounge and long bar area.
Bermingham's is singularly lacking in the bling that you find in many pubs within a 10-minute walk of the city centre. In theory, this might make it an intimidating venue for newbies. Stepping to the bar in the near silence of a quiet midweek, you could certainly be forgiven for thinking you'd gatecrashed someone's living room. Relax -- it's all in your head.
The regulars may not be exactly effusive, but they know what a find Bermingham's is and don't mind letting you in on the secret. And at €4.10 for a pint of stout, who's bothered about feeling a little bit out of place?