Barfly: The Bloody Stream, Howth

Owned by local man Michael JF Wright of the Wrights of Howth family, The Bloody Stream is just one of a portfolio of bars and venues in his group and the pedigree shows

Train stations tend to overpower neighbourly bars but the Bloody Stream wraps itself around the Dart building comfortably

Train stations tend to overpower neighbourly bars but the Bloody Stream wraps itself around the Dart building comfortably

 

There’s a terrific smell of peat wafting through the Bloody Stream – enough to make me move seats and get closer to the source, a well-stocked open fire. It’s a beautiful old pub in a near perfect setting for visitors and tourists – right under the Dart station in this hugely popular day-trip town by the sea. It has loads going for it: the cut stone, the wooden panelled ceiling, the double-fronted beer garden with heaters and awnings outside and then a ton of history. Like lots of bars in tourist areas it’s now a great place to eat as well as drink and can be packed inside and out on weekends or sunny days.

Owned by local man Michael JF Wright of the Wrights of Howth family, it’s just one of a portfolio of bars and venues in his group and the pedigree shows. He took a derelict building in 1995 and turned it into a great bar that really does try to cater for everyone. It’s even a great sports bar, with TV sets and dropdown screens at every sightline. You would be challenged to find a seat that didn’t put you in the front row so if sports aren’t your thing avoid it on big game days.

The staff are run off their feet the night I visit – in fact they could have done with some help, but they stayed friendly and attentive throughout. When a pub is staffed by employees rather than family members it’s this welcome from behind the bar that delivers the crucial vote for a pub. And the locals of all ages assured me that the Bloody Stream had won its place in the town and their seat at the bar.

Train stations tend to overpower neighbourly bars but the Bloody Stream wraps itself around the Dart building so comfortably that you’d easily choose to miss your journey home.

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