Barfly: John Lynch/ The Swan Bar
Aungier Street, Dublin 2,
On the day of England's do-or-die World Cup clash with the mighty Slovenia, a smattering of nationalities had gathered in the cathedral-esque interior of John Lynch's. With its stained glass, wooden partitions and ranks of framed rugby jerseys, you can see why it's on the radar for adventurous tourists -- it fulfils all of their expectations of the Dublin drinking experience, minus the cringeful tat.
But located on the gnarly interchange between Aungier Street and Camden Street, Lynch's is also very much a local boozer too -- indeed, it's exactly the sort of place you might think twice about entering for the first time, for fear of being scrutinised by a scrum of regulars at the bar (no need to be paranoid -- newcomers are perfectly at home).
A bust of rugby champion (and owner) Sean Lynch is an unusual feature, as is the L-shaped design, with bar and snug towards the front, and lounge at the back, stretching towards the loos (clean and well provisioned -- a rarer occurrence than you might expect).
There is arguably an excess of pubs along the Georges to Camden street route (were half to shut tomorrow, who would notice?).
But, despite its determination to be as unspectacular as possible, Lynch's is one of those worth cherishing. The beer prices are decent too.