Barfly: The Dubliner
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Telephone 01 6684468
You half expect to hear Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams blaring from a tannoy as you approach Sean Dunne's D4 hotel complex in leafy south Dublin.
Until those pesky planning mandarins got in the way, the site of the former Jurys Hotel was to have been transformed into a glittering temple of bling. Now, with the recession fast bleeding into a depression, Jurys has been turned into the cheap 'n' cheerful hospitality equivalent of a Ryanair flight.
Located next door is The Dubliner bar, once a favourite spot for D4 hob-nobbers, now a sad reminder of what hotel bars used to be like before the industry discovered the delights of minimalism (and of €15 cocktails).
Stepping through the swinging doors, it's like tumbling back to the 70s. There's lots of brown; the flagstones have a dour old-school quality; even the salt shakers feel as if they've come straight from the era of Ford Cortinas. Only the smattering of flat-screen televisions showing whatever Sky Sports is broadcasting at the moment remind you we're in the 21st century. That said, staff are helpful and, even on a busy weekend evening, service is crisp and efficient. At least the property crash has left us with somewhere to drown our sorrows.