Barfly: shebeen chic
4 South Great George's Street, D2
It was tempting to tut when Shebeen Chic announced its arrival two years ago by plonking a tatty sofa on the pavement outside its front door.
A 'country' pub as viewed through the eyes of a 'sophisticated' Dubliner, this cut-and-paste marriage of olde Irish charm and vintage hipster-ism came off as overthought and, to be frank, rather condescending.
Twenty-four months on, the sofa is gone and Shebeen Chic is hawking itself as a straight-up boozer and live venue, in addition to continuing to operate as a restaurant out back.
The bar area is long, dark and dominated by antique lamps and knotty, woody entanglements (geeks will be reminded of Treebeard's house from Lord of the Rings).
There's not a huge choice in terms of draught beers -- just a well-known brand of stout and a few rudimentary lagers. That's a disappointment. In a market where customer is king, it's the little things that make the difference.
We approve of Shebeen Chic's grungy, early 90s ambience and cracking background music. How much better the experience would be, were we able to sip our favourite German draught while luxuriating in the atmosphere.