Historical Bars of the Area
P. Mac’s, attached to the Drury Court Hotel, is one of the most recent additions to the Digges Lane/ Stephen’s Street area, and has been winning accolades since its opening in 2013. However, despite being one of the newer faces on the street, it still has its fair share of history: namely that the licence granted to the premises back in 1996 was transferred from a convent in Longford, originally built in 1842. This definitely makes us the recipients of one of the more unusual license transfers in Dublin!
Around the corner from the Drury Court Hotel, on Aungier Street, is J. J. Smyth’s bar, which dates to the mid-1700s and was the birthplace of the poet Thomas Moore in 1779. The original gables of 9-9A Aungier Street (one of the oldest mansions in the area that still has a surviving staircase inside) are still visible from the rear of this bar.
One of the other historical pubs in our area, the Swan Bar, was witness to the events of the 1916 Rising- especially as Jacob’s Biscuit Factory was located on Aungier Street and was one of main strongholds of the rebels. Until recently bullet holes from the events of the Rising were visible on the exterior of the Swan bar (these were covered up in a recent renovation).
The Old Stand, on Exchequer Street, is also a haven for historical enthusiasts- it celebrates its 350th Anniversary in 2019, having been granted a license by Charles II back in 1669, making it one of Dublin’s oldest pubs. It was also used as a meeting place by Michael Collins in the build-up to the 1916 Rising.
Even the Hairy Lemon, one of the best local spots for Irish food, has a connection to the area’s history, as it is named after one of the city’s most recognisable characters from the 1950s- a local dog catcher, who patrolled the streets around Aungier Street and Stephen’s Street, and reportedly sported a lemon shaped visage and a shock of gooseberry-like hair!