“ 5 Lr Baggot St. / Dublin 2 / Fon: 676 2945. „
How do you define "craic"? Well, it's an old Irish/Scots word (also used in the Newcastle area of England) that according to Wikepedia means "fun, enjoyment, abandonment, or lighthearted mischief".
That just about sums up Doheny and Nesbitts pub in Baggot Street, Dublin perfectly. D & N has been around so long (1850) that you can almost smell the history oozing out of the woodwork, and ever since it opened its doors for business it has been packed to the rafters with drinkers all intent on having a good time, good conversation, good food, and a generally marvelous time. (In other words, having a bit of "craic")
Its location helps. It's a hop, step and jump away from the heart of Dublin (St. Stephen's Green) and only a hop and step away from Government Buildings and Dail Eirann, the seat of Government here in the Republic of Ireland. Consequently you'll always find a good cross section of civil servants and politicians in D & N, often surrounded by the gentlemen and ladies of the press looking for a good story. Rumour has it that it was in this pub (more than in the Dial) that the economic success of Ireland was planned in the late 1980's. In fact, it was even humourously called the "Doheny and Nesbitt School of Economics" by the third estate!
So what's the pub like? A smallish public bar, all old wood, little snugs, and nooks and crannies, with a more modern and spacious lounge bar. They need every inch of the space, as the pub is constantly overflowing, with a Thursday and Friday night in particular being the busiest. In fact, the pub is *SO* busy on those two nights that the clientele invariably spill out onto the pavement and road onto Baggot Street, in order not only to have a fag (smoking ban) but simply to get out of the rugby scrum that is the interior! I recently telephoned the Gardai (Irish police) asking them to put a copper on point duty as the D & N crowd was so thick that I couldn't get my taxi along Baggot Street. (Only joking, but you get the picture) So don't worry about the seating in D & N of an evening time, as chances are you won't get a sniff of a seat in any case.
Your best bet to see the boozer in a leisurely fashion is to go in at lunchtime. It's also very busy then as they do a fantastic selection of reasonably priced pub grub, but at least you have a chance of getting to the bar or even a seat. (If you're lucky) No chips available (side salad with everything) but a grand selection of paninis, baked potatoes, and open sandwiches. Avoid the coffee by the way, as it's simply awful!
As you would expect the pint in D & N is reputed to be one of the best in the city. I can't comment as I don't drink alcohol, but I'll take the word of the thousands of punters who frequent the place on a regular basis.
To find D & N simply get to St. Stephen's Green, and walk south towards Baggot Street from the world famous Shelbourne Hotel. It's two minutes away, just past the first junction on the left hand side.
© KenJ March 2008