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Dublin 8 Welcomes New Pubs

Dublin 8 Welcomes New Pubs – Craig O Reilly explores the opening of three new pub/restaurants in Kilmainham to Thomas Street Area – Murrays, John’s Bar and Bru House Kilmainham 

As we navigate through these uncertain times, one thing we are seeing more, is that Dublin is changing. Some establishments which were part of our lives, sadly, have been forced to close.  Global pandemics have made local pints more difficult. Surprisingly and gratefully, the Kilmainham to Thomas Street area has proved resilient to this trend.  So resilient that it is actually witnessing three new pub openings!


A little nook of History

If you pass John’s Bar and Haberdashery you may think from its outside interior that it is a modern, contemporary establishment and indeed it is. Look a little deeper however and you will also see a rich history behind every brick and beam of this building. If the word haberdashery sticks out to you it’s because the bar was once owned by a haberdasher named John Creeth. His name was found on one of the large timber beams overhead. Creeth ran his haberdashery shop on Thomas Street from 1850 -1859. As a quick gander at other articles in our local history section will prove, the Liberties has a history of being a centre of industry, with a rich textile trade with mills and walkways going back hundreds of years.

A haberdashery would have been a frequent destination for those looking for small items used in sewing, such as buttons, zips, and thread. Though many of the findings of the excavation of the building are now in the national museum, you can find jars of traditional sweets and haberdashery essentials for sale at John’s Bar and  Haberdashy; their vision has been to  combine the history of distilling and tailoring into a unique experience.

It’s a labour of love that started in 2015 and has now been complimented by the establishment of a Wowburger serving high quality food to enjoy with a pint (or a milkshake)  as you take in the surroundings. There’s a wonderful contrast between the historical and the modern with the salvaged seating and the long central bar counter. Come down to a place where some of the Liberties best characters would often swap stories for string and you’ll get a glimpse into the past. Highly recommended for those interested in local history or those just looking for good food and drink with a great range of pints to choose from. Daily opening is at 12 PM.

Look Out For Murrays Bar!

Kilmainham is a well known hub for tourists who flock to yearly events in the Royal Hospital grounds. Many visit Kilmainham Gaol which has been the site of not just some of the most important moments in Irish history but has also been used for film productions and documentaries. Murrays has always been a hidden gem to locals, sitting neatly at Bow Bridge at the back of the Royal Hospital.

After years of sitting on the market, the bar finally has new owners and is looking to re-open as a gastro pub.  Murrays will be looking to offer visitors delicious steak with high quality sides. They will also have wood-fired pizza ovens, so home made pizzas, nothing frozen here. Along with sharing platters, there will also be excellent refreshing wines and cocktails to have with your meal, or craft beers if that’s more to your taste. Given the fantastic sites nearby, Murrays is certainly a place to look out for if you are heading out in the coming months, so keep an eye out!

In the run up to the grand opening they are currently running a cafe, so pop in and have a nice cup of tea or coffee if you’re out and about.

For those who love Irish Craft beers

Over the past few years craft beers have become a favourite for people looking to try something a little bit different. Brú house  in Kilmainham will cater to all your needs with selections of their own pale ales, red ale and lager. Their Brú Chargrilled  burger or the chicken fillet burger makes for a fantastic meal. Like the other bars and restaurants mentioned here it’s within walking distance of Kilmainham Gaol and other sites. One of the struggles for many places at the moment is that it’s not always easy to find a pub that will cater to different peoples needs. Some will enjoy traditional fish and chips for instance, while others may prefer to try something like the Morrocan Chicken tagine. At Brú house is you’’ll find a varied menu with great food and all kinds of cocktails, wines and craft beers so you can really make the most of your meal. Opening hours are between 4 pm and 11 pm.

All photos by Stephen Davis

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