WE decided to do our bit for the environment this past week and keep it close to home.
There was no need to fill our gas guzzler to the brim as we slipped across the Liffey and into the Liberties to visit the Lamplighter Lounge.
“God, it’s been years since I was in The Liberties,” the Old Commando said as we arrived at the traffic lights outside our destination.
“The last time I was in The Liberties, I was asked to leave the pub,” the Young Commando reminded us. “It wasn’t this pub, mind you, but one customer discreetly told me the locals didn’t like the look of me, thought I was an undercover Garda,” he continued, laughing.
This was a first-time visit for most of our travelling party, but the Old Commando was familiar with the area and had been here before in a non-work capacity.
The green exterior was attractive and the Old Commando suggested the place looked a bit different from his previous visit.
“I don’t think this entrance was always here,” he said.
A friendly barman was on hand to serve as soon as we arrived and there were plenty of stools available at the bar, even though it was quite busy during our stay.
We think the barman’s name was Jimmy and we found him chatty and a good character.
He was working alone but managed to provide table service to his regulars and maintained conversations with the local barflies.
The pints of Guinness were creamy and cost €5, with the Old Commando giving them his seal of approval by ordering our second round within ten minutes of arriving.
As we engaged some of the locals at the counter, they solved the Old Commando’s door conundrum.
They told us this pub underwent a total refurbishment over three years ago, with an additional entrance been added and the bar totally unrecognisable.
“The name changed too, from ‘The Lamplighter’ to ‘Lamplighter Lounge’, you may have noticed,” the local booze-hound told us.
There was a mixed clientele, mostly young to middle-aged, when we called and there was a very good atmosphere too.
We overheard some American accents – they were pretty hard to ignore – and our Commandos agreed they were better off here paying €5 for their Guinness than visiting the tourist areas of Temple Bar and paying maybe 50 per cent more for the privilege.
Pints of Guinness certainly seem to be the most popular drink with the male clientele, while pints of Coors and Rockshore were keeping the women’s tables full.
There are three large TVs in the lounge, but they were muted as there was music echoing from the speakers throughout the pub.
The black leather bench seating was in good condition and the timber flooring was very clean.
The shelves and fridges were all fully stocked and there was a bottle of hand sanitizer at the front door.
“I’d say they could take down them posters now,” the Old Commando said as he pointed to the three pillars in front of the counter which was advertising the Ireland v England Six Nations game from March 14.
As the Old Commando went to inspect the toilets, he noticed a team photograph of the Dublin football team from Bloody Sunday 1920 and he suggested the locals, who were sitting in among our American tourist friends, should show them this photo and give them some background info.
The toilets checked out fine. They were spacious, clean and were a reflection of the rest of this lovely boozer – everything was up to scratch.
We thoroughly enjoyed our few pints in this pub and, sitting in among some of Dublin’s finest characters, we soaked it all in.
Rating: Three pints out of Five
One for the road
Lowes Bar - Dublin 8
WE stayed longer than we anticipated in Lowes, and we owe that to the young barman on duty. He was a good character, very welcoming and pulled good pints of porter too.
There was a mixed clientele, mostly middle-aged to elderly, and some interesting characters too.
The brown leather bench seating was in excellent condition, and there was plenty of it available. The brownish coloured carpet was spotlessly clean, as were the toilets – which contained three urinals and a cubicle.
We were greeted by Dublin GAA and Leinster rugby flags as soon as we arrived.
We thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere among the regulars, which was only enhanced by the lively barman
There were plenty of men enjoying a pint by themselves – perhaps taking a short break from the Coombe hospital next door?
There’s a variety of drinks on draught, including Fosters, Birra Moretti and Rockshore.
Rating: Three pints out of Five