Barfly: Ned's of Townsend Street
44 Townsend Street, D2.
Tel: 01 6779570
Not too long ago, Ned's of Townsend Street could have reasonably been described as a quintessential Dublin boozer. Brightly lit, narrow, with low, wooden tables (the better for drinking room-temperature Guinness from a bottle) and spit and sawdust patrons, it might have been lifted straight from a Roddy Doyle novel and plonked into the south inner city.
Nowadays, of course, many pubs in the capital are keen to make you feel as if you are actually drinking in New York/Paris/ Moscow, and it is places such as Ned's that seem like exotic interlopers.
Granted, several other kindred spirits are to be found in this part of town but, unlike the better known Kennedy's and Confession Box, Ned's hasn't quite been colonised by trend-seekers yet.
Certainly, on the evening of our visit, the clientele appeared largely to be grizzled older gentlemen, leafing exactingly through the paper or gazing at the plasma-screen TVs at either end of the room.
Although not ones to fetishise Guinness -- isn't that Failte Ireland's job? -- we must report that the stout served here, of the so-black-it's-practically-blue variety, was a piece of art in itself and, even if we were the only ones here tweeting on our iPhone, we never felt less than welcome.
IN THE GLASS: Pint of stout €4, pint of lager €4.60
AT THE BAR: True blue Dubs
ON THE STEREO: TV sport
AND? If you ask nicely, chess boards are available behind the bar