Barfly: Sin é
14 Merchant's Quay, Dublin 8
Tel: 01 8787078
They sure like the hard sell at Sin é, a murky quayside hangout with dive bar aspirations. Out front, a hand-written sign announces that cuts in alcohol duty unveiled in the Budget have been passed on to punters without delay. Inside, the barman is so keen to flog you a bargain pitcher of German lager you almost feel bad when you point out that, actually, you just want a solitary pint.
In a city where speciality beer is, alas, often a byword for an extra cold variety of Guinness, Sin é also goes those extra yards and offers some decent options for the curious of palate. Alongside a line-up of continental Weiss beers and pilsner you'll almost certainly never have heard of, they serve a super-yummy 'chocolate' stout.
But Sin é's real charms are more abstract. Shrouded in permanent semi-darkness, it always feels as if it's 30 minutes away from closing hour and the party is about to get started.
Any downsides? Well, the seating area by the front-door can be a tad drafty, and, unless you happen to be dressed like the bass-player from Animal Collective, you might feel a little out of place sartorially. If, however, you're the sort who is considering growing a beard simply so you can look like that guy from Fleet Foxes, you'll love it.