Food & DrinkPub Spy

O'Neill's gets our tap vote in the capital

O'Neill's
O'Neill's

We were back on the streets on Dublin’s fair city this past week and our Young Commando suggested a trip to MJ O’Neill’s on Suffolk Street.

“You won’t regret this lads. They’ve every sort of beer you could think of. There’s something for everyone,” he told us. 

There are numerous awards draped across the exterior wall highlighting the huge success O’Neill’s has achieved over the years, including ‘Trad Music Pub of the Year’ in 2004 and 2006 and ‘Dining Pub of the Year’ in 2001 and 2005.

The green-and-black exterior was in good condition and we were hoping the interior would live up to our expectations.

We entered via the Suffolk Street entrance next to the Ulster Bank and into the cosy front bar. There was a small snug area located to our left, but we made base at the front bar where a pretty foreign barmaid served us immediately. 

There are 47 taps of draught available with only Guinness duplicated. Our Young Commando was right, there really is something for everyone. 

“That sign says there are 62 different options available. The rest of them must be out in the lounge,” the Young Commando stated.

“Surely of the 40 here you can choose one of these pints now,” the Old Commando joked.

It didn’t matter what options were available to the Old Commando, he stuck with the stout and it cost him €5.10 for the privilege. All the usual pints are laid on for punters, with Budweiser, Heineken and Bulmers all costing €5.60 or you can try a Barrelhead Indie Amber Ale for €5.75 or a Punk BrewDog for an eye-watering €6.85.

The barmaid was very courteous and she engaged us briefly in conversation. This pub is good to hold 772 people and while it was nowhere near full, there was at least 150 punters present during our visit.

The majority of the crowd were located in the second section of this pub and some of them were enjoying the carvery dinners. There was a mixture of diners, tourists and everything in between, but the front bar seemed to contain more of the locals.

There is live music in O’Neill’s seven nights a week and we were also informed by one customer that this pub was named in the ‘Top 100 Dublin Pubs’ in 2009. We’re sure they still hold their position on that list. 

The wine leather bench seating was in good condition, as were the green leather barstools. The bar was well stocked and the staff were constantly on the move, rarely getting a moment.

We only located one TV in the front bar, but the Young Commando advised us that O’Neill’s has 14 TVs in total spread throughout the bar.

“Did you count them all”? the Old Commando questioned his colleague.

“No. It’s written on the window outside,” he smartly replied.

“Do you see that tap there young man? That’s what you should be drinking,” the Old Commando smiled, as he pointed to a draught beer named Cute Hoor.

The toilets were spotless during our inspection and we couldn’t fault either of the cubicles nor the seven urinals. There are coat hangers on the cubicle doors, with two sinks and two dryers provided. Everything was in tip-top shape.

It was the Young Commando’s idea to bring us to MJ O’Neill’s in Suffolk Street this past week, missing out some of the older haunts we have become accustomed to in the capital down the years, but it was a unanimous decision among the troops that we’ll be back very soon. We had a great time in this pub and we’re already looking forward to our return.