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Pubspy special Inside Conor McGregor's new bar as it opens for the first time since €1m makeover

The UFC star bought his local last year for around €1.9m and is reported to have forked out a further €1 million on a makeover

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Conor McGregor in the refurbished Black Forge pub in Crumlin.

Conor McGregor in the refurbished Black Forge pub in Crumlin.

Conor McGregor in the refurbished Black Forge pub in Crumlin.

Conor McGregor's Black Forge Inn opened to much fanfare on Monday as they welcomed back customers following the resumption of indoor dining and drinking but it was a much quieter affair when Sunday World popped in for a visit on Tuesday afternoon. 

The UFC star bought his local last year for around €1.9m and is reported to have forked out a further €1 million on a makeover of the Dublin 12 watering hole.

It’s easy to see where the money went as the old school “aul lads pub” has been utterly transformed into a sleek dining and drinking establishment that wouldn’t look out of place in Lower Manhattan.

Polished wooden interiors, low-slung ceilings and light music greeted the few customers who had ducked out of the drizzly afternoon to sample basic food and drinks menu that covered most bases.

Well-groomed staff in their black and white uniforms emblazoned with the Black Forge logo operated in quite efficiency as they served up platters of wings and ribs to the odd business man and small families sitting at the tables.

The bar is kept free as per current Covid restrictions although there is a seat apparently kept for McGregor in front of a wide screen TV and patrons had to have their EU Digital Covid Certificate scanned at the front door before they were brought to their seats.

The tables are spaced well apart from each other and the seating is comfortable.

Inside the spanking-new boozer there were some subtle artworks in the form of framed picture postcard images dotted along the walls with only one appearing to feature McGregor himself in his trademark war scowl.

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The refurbished Black Forge pub in Crumlin

The refurbished Black Forge pub in Crumlin

The refurbished Black Forge pub in Crumlin

Apart from that, there was little to show who the new boss in town was, apart from the obligatory Proper 12 Whiskey bottles lining all the top shelves over the bar and into the lounge area.

The outside smoking area had awnings pulled over to protect drinkers from the rain while the toilets were immaculate and clean.

The menus were clear and concise and offered up the best of pub grub but with a generous portions of side orders that ranged from the basic pub grub of tacos for 7.50 euro, salt & chilie prawns for 9 euro and all the way up to the main courses of fish and chips that were priced 16.50 euro and steak sambos (15 euro) and Irish Angus beef burgers (16 euro).

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They have their own Black Forge stout on offer as well as an extensive cocktail menu that included one dubbed the Notorious while shots of the Proper No Twelve whiskey are 4.50 a pop.

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The wings and ribs dish

The wings and ribs dish

The wings and ribs dish

Overall it felt like a more refined place than perhaps one would expect from a man who has no problem showing off more obvious displays of extravagance.

A spokesperson for the new bar said the feedback he got from talking to the management team was that they were “delighted” with how the opening day went.

“I wasn't there myself until the night time when I went in for some food and there was a great atmosphere, I have to say,” he said.

“I was talking to one of the managers and he said they were blown away. It always going to be kind of a bit of a challenge opening up under the Government roll-out, with the vaccination certificates and last minute changes the night before as to what details were needed, but from what I was told they were very pleased with how it went.

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The outdoor smoking area.

The outdoor smoking area.

The outdoor smoking area.

“Everybody was understanding,” he added. “Those who didn't have vaccine certificate were happy to eat outdoors. Personally I thought the food was amazing and I think the decor and everything has gone down a treat.

“I also think it's a great addition to the area. I actually feel that it could be a city-centre type establishment, like with a Dawson Street kind of vibe. And other feedback coming back was that everyone seemed happy with the product offering and also the price point.

“I think we’ve listened to what was needed and wanted in the area and we delivered on that.

The spokesperson said he was sure Conor himself was delighted, adding that his family was in over the weekend and on Monday.

“It was an exceptional for an opening day,” he added. “There were always going to be teething issues but it’s great to be open.”

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