Barfly: The Celt
81-82 Talbot Street, Dublin. Telephone: 01 8788810
You will find pubs like The Celt scattered all over the globe -- in places like Boston, London and Buenos Aires. Anywhere, in other words, where people (vaguely) of Irish extraction are wont to go in search of 'de craic'.
That's right -- it is a stereotypical Irish bar, down to the beef stew menu, the 'ye old curiosity shop' decor and the posters proclaiming ever-lasting loyalty to a British soccer team that plays in green hoops (what's wrong with Shamrock Rovers, an Irish team that plays in green hoops?).
Of course, The Celt offers a degree of authenticity of which those other establishments can merely dream, being located in the middle of Dublin's gritty north inner city. Sitting in a dark corner, tucking into a lunch of coddle and soda bread, you might never, in fact, imagine you were in one of Europe's most multi-ethnic urban centres. No wonder tourists fresh from the Guinness Storehouse and en route to have their picture taken with the giant, faintly menacing styrofoam Leprechaun who lurks by the Molly Malone statue love the place.
The hospitality equivalent of the Dubliners performing The Rocky Road to Dublin while the strains of Riverdance bleed in from an adjoining room, The Celt is a place that heartily embraces soggy old cliches yet, with crisp service and genuine charm, also manages to transcend them.