Barfly: The Sweeney Mongrel
32 Dame Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 6350056
One of the oddest drinking experiences we had recently was when the bar manager at Le Cirk asked us to switch seats on three separate occasions to accommodate diners from the upstairs hotel.
We weren't slow to grumble and, to be fair, were offered a complimentary round of drinks by way of apology. The point being that, with chairs at a premium even on a week night, Le Cirk didn't look like a bar in desperate need of rebranding. Nonetheless, it has just had one and now trades under the cumbersome moniker, 'The Sweeney Mongrel (Le Cirk)'.
It's clear that management are trying to 'hipster-up' the premises and perhaps catch a little of the overspill from the Twisted Pepper. Hence the emphasis on edgy DJs and live performances by up-and-coming bands.
In place of the trad pub 'chic' of Le Cirk, the tone now is more NYC "dive bar".
Will it pay off? Who can tell?