41-43, Usher's Quay, Dublin
Published 12/02/2010 | 05:00
You don't necessarily associate Dublin's quays with buzzing nightlife. In fact, back in the day, you associated the quays with muggings and junkies, particularly that gray, depressive half-mile between the city centre and Heuston Station.
Located close to James Joyce Bridge, Pifko is part of a wave of bars colonising what was once 'locals only' territory. Pifko is Czech for 'pint' and the owners pitch the bar as the hospitality equivalent of a Benetton ad, where Irish and Eastern European drinkers can bond over high-end Pilsners and deep-fried brie
As is the case with other ethnic bars in the capital, the lighting is turned up slightly brighter than usual, though, unlike some of its peers, you aren't assailed by techno when you walk in. Lager connoisseurs will have a blast.
The draft beer menu reads like a who's who of quality central European brews: among those on tap are Gambrinus 11°, Pilsner Urquell, Zlatý bažant and Budvar. It also serves Pifko ale at E10 a pitcher, which is brewed exclusively for the pub. The best thing, though, is that it doesn't try to bash you over the head with its Eastern European-ness. There's none of the horrible "old country" hokum that blights Oirish pubs abroad -- whatever the Czech equivalents of signposts to Dingle are, Pifko astutely avoids them.