Tuesday 24 October 2017

Barfly: The Garage Bar

East Essex Street, Dublin 2.

Ed Power

Ed Power

Unless you're with one of those English stag parties where everyone is dressed in poorly fitting super-hero outfits, you'll probably turn knock-kneed and pale at the prospect of an evening out in Temple Bar. Happily, though, there's more to Dublin's, ahem, 'cultural quarter' than barf, slow-mo tourists and Leprechaun buskers.

On the fringes of the neighbourhood, East Essex Street captures the capital at its most eccentric and eclectic. There, you'll find the Project Arts Centre, the back entrance to U2's Clarence Hotel and Connolly Books, where you can raise a toast to Lenin's birthday without getting a funny look.

Most curious of all is the return of an old favourite to the street. With a 'does what it says on the tin' lack of pretension, The Garage Bar is located within a former, er, garage, one door down from the Clarence.

And you might be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled upon a rift in the space-time continuum. Where all about is sedate, The Garage is a riot of Havana brio.

With its open store-front design and Eddie Rocket's decor (sawed-in-half muscle cars, vintage posters, a screaming red paint job) it looks like something magically transported from the 1950s -- while the floppy, straight clientele give the impression of having fetched up from Ross O'Carroll-Kelly.

It's best avoided by those out for a sombre sup, but party monsters should go there as soon as they can.

Irish Independent

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