The necessity to change, transform, move with the time, give people what they want, has been the mantra for one of Dundalk's most popular venues and has kept it in the top ratings since its inception back in late 2005. Brubakers which rose from the flames of Moe's in Park Street opened the eyes of an unsuspecting public to what aspects of entertainment are really available when thought and time were applied to a brand new bar and nightclub.
After the success of Moe's owner Declan Muckian realised that expansion of the premises was the only way forward and closed its doors in mid 2005. The premises was completely demolished internally and after feverous work through limited access, they opened in time for Christmas 2005.
The complex included the small Whisker Bar at the front, fireplace reception area which in turn led into the main bar area and raised seating and the rear of the premises had a dancefloor and area for live bands. On the first floor, the changes included another fully functioning bar, separate Loft bottle bar and the all important smoking room.
Sometimes a new venue experiences a drop off in the crowds after the initial curiosity has died down, but not Brubakers, both levels were packed each and every week from then on. This, added to a top line up of Irish bands such as Blue Moose, Smash Hits and Big Generator regularly packed the place every weekend. Such was the pub's popularity, the queues were regularly seen outside in the early evenings.
As times changed and people were heading to the pub later in the evening became the norm, it was live music and a full weekend of DJs in action on both levels that added to the attraction of the pub. It applied both for a late serving license and dance license to make sure their customers were well catered for and these helped as Brubakers endeavored to catch and overcome their competitors.
Always ready to change with the times, Brubakers kept an eye on different trends and innovative ideas being practiced in pubs and clubs in Dublin and were always quick to include them in their day to day running.
Their next renovation work commenced in 2013 and instead of closing completely they staggered their changes, concentrating on replacing fabrics, upholstering furniture, painting and changing various fittings. It was the inspiration of working with designer and architect Martin Wooley (Café en Seine) that really helped Brubakers to really stand out from its adversaries. Major work took place in the Loft Bar which was partially isolated from the first floor bar and instantly became a venue ideal for parties and receptions of various kinds.
The idea that an older crowd were facilitated upstairs with emphasis on 80s and 90s music and the main dancefloor gauged towards a younger audience with a more popular dance orientated sound, proved to be an outstanding success with all their regulars.
This was possibly one of the most popular times with the people of Dundalk and the Park Street venue regularly had queues stretching down the street on three nights of the weekend. But as they say, time and tide waits for no man, Declan and daughter Susan returned to secure the services of Martin Wooley for the most comprehensive revamp of the entire pub and club which took place between May and November 2019.
The entire building was brought back to its shell, on entering the premises, the vaulted ceiling gave an impression of entering a lane way off the main strip, the American style themed Bru's bar was created and they returned to serving food with the likes of chicken wings and pizzas available throughout the day and onto the evening. This theme continued into the hugely versatile Courtyard but with a more industrial feel where people could chill, enjoying live music and DJs in an open air surrounding,
The rear of the premise now boasts two more bars, the Courtyard Bar to facilitate its namesake and the totally cosmopolitan Henry Brubaker to help with the overflow but mostly doubling as a VIP area with that little extra touch of class and huge windows looking down on the focal point of the whole Brubakers experience.
Being able to maintain a top class service has been aided by some of their staff who were there from their official opening in 2006 and the likes of Kevin Carthy, Aidan Burns, Trish Conroy and Larry Pellecchia (the last survivor since the Moe's days) really helped to make it one of the must visit venues in the whole of county Louth.
COVID-19 may has put a stop to all bar and club trade around town, but when Bru's reopens its doors, you can rest assured that the necessity for change will continue to keep it as one of the best in the country.