WELL it happened just as we expected. Pubs were the main target of NPHET and the Government in the latest round of the blame game.
There was little or no point in us travelling down the country for our last outing of 2021 as pubs in rural Ireland are effectively closed now thanks to the new enforced 8pm closing time, so we decided to visit south Dublin with Dun Laoghaire as our port of call.
“Most pubs in the countryside only open in the evenings, I doubt it’s worth their while unlocking the front door now,” the Old Commando lamented.
“As bad as the Government was in the 2008-09 era I’ll say one thing for nothing, no pubs would be closed if Mr Cowen was still the Taoiseach,” the Young Commando joked.
There was a tremendous Christmas spirit in the community when Pub Spy visited the area this week with Christmas carols being sung in the street for all to hear.
We decided to check out McLoughlin’s bar on George Street, which was festively decorated and the bright red exterior was in good condition. There were plenty of tables and chairs available on the street but, unsurprisingly, they were all empty.
There were two barmaids on duty when we arrived and as soon as we stepped inside the front door we were asked to sign in and our Covid certs were verified. Everything and everyone was fully compliant with the new rules and we felt very safe in the lovely surroundings of McLoughlin’s pub.
“This is my issue. Why should businesses like this suffer when they follow the rules?” the Old Commando asked.
“If there are pubs that aren’t compliant then shut them by all means, but why punish everyone for the sins of some?” he continued.
We placed our order with a young blonde barmaid, who spoke with an accent (potentially American) and she delivered our order over to our table. Our bill came to €22.60 with two pints of Guinness costing €5.40 each while two pints of lager cost €5.90 each. They were serving food during our stay and the Young Commando was as hungry as ever and ordered himself a lovely ham and cheese toasty just to help line his stomach for the day.
There are three TVs behind the counter and a very large projection screen towards the end of the bar where the locals were enjoying the live football and rugby.
The fridges were fully stocked and a protection screen has been installed all along the counter.
Becks, Tuborg, Rye River IPA, Beamish and Rockshore Light are just some of the options available on draught and the whiskey of the month is Teeling’s which cost €5.40.
We really enjoyed the atmosphere in this cosy boozer and everything was spotlessly clean including the beautiful timber flooring and the brown leather barstools.
The toilets are located down three flights of stairs and the Old Commando gave them a thorough inspection during our stay. He reported that there are two cubicles, four urinals and three sinks and it was maintained to a very high standard.
We watched the clock as if we were four Cinderellas and knew when our time was coming to a close. We ordered a shot of whiskey each and toasted Christmas after a long and gruelling year.
We enjoyed our evening in McLoughlin’s pub and would love to call again some day.
As we each departed and went our separate ways we hoped this wouldn’t be the last time we meet in a pub until next summer, but of course these days, that’s always possible.
Rating: Four pints out of Five
One for the road
The Graduate - Killiney
Ideally located at the Killiney shopping centre, it’s the perfect excuse to go out with your wife/partner for the afternoon and while you’re out that far, you may as well have a few pints.
We got the last remaining seat in the house when we arrived. The Graduate was buzzing and packed to the rafters. There was a mixed clientele of all ages and everyone was seated properly with no rules or guidelines being broken. The staff members were all wearing masks and table service was the order of the day.
There’s a framed Cuala jersey hanging beside the bar signed by the players and a framed hurl from their heroic All-Ireland victory in 2018. The carpet was in good condition as was all the seating and the toilets were spotlessly clean and checked hourly.
A well run boozer doing everything they are told. When will NPHET stop targeting them?
Rating: Four pints out of Five