Barfly: Peggy Kelly's
Bar Review: Peggy Kelly's 159/163 HAROLD'S CROSS, DUBLIN 6 TEL: 01 4978935 4 STARS
Sloping through Harold's Cross on a recent rainy afternoon, Barfly suffered a disconcerting twinge of nostalgia. A zillion years ago, we called this stretch of Dublin home but had always struggled to locate an acceptable local. Despite serving a mean Beamish, the Harold House was too darkly lit for our tastes, while Peggy Kelly's fell squarely in the category of 'ordinary, decent' Liffeyside boozer: clean and cheap, and by our reckoning, a tad dreary.
Usually, we'd risk the 15 minute walk to Wexford Street instead (despite being twice mugged on the canal). A decade later, Peggy Kelly's has not changed greatly, unless you count the vast off-licence next door.
Barfly, however, has cultivated a new appreciation of life in the slow lane. On a quiet evening, you can pop around to Kelly's, sink a pint and read your magazine, knowing the music won't be suddenly jacked up or that someone will attempt to steal your drink (seriously – the amount of times this happens in bustling hipster bars in insane).
To the management's credit, they have moved with the times and stock an impressive selection of international beers. If only more pubs in suburban Dublin could tell which way the wind is blowing when it comes to consumer tastes.
There is a well maintained website and an informative Facebook page, though, thank goodness they have stopped short of jumping the shark with a Twitter feed.
At the bar: Locals in their 50s, blow-ins in their 20s
In the glass: Pint of Hoegaarden €4.95, pint of Budvar €5.95
On the stereo: Day time radio, turned down low
And? Regular wine tasting are sessions held in conjunction with the adjoining D-Six off-license.