Barfly: The Long Hall, Georges St, Dublin

There are few pubs in Dublin that can match this great Victorian relic

The Long Hall. There’s enough of a welcome to make you feel at home, a chat if you need it, and always a farewell. Photograph:Cyril Byrne

The Long Hall. There’s enough of a welcome to make you feel at home, a chat if you need it, and always a farewell. Photograph:Cyril Byrne

 

When Phil Lynott lifted his sad brown eyes to the camera to sing “I’ve been spending my money in the old town, it’s not the same honey, when you’re not around”, it was from the third barstool of the main bar in the Long Hall that he chose to do it.

There are few pubs in Dublin that can match this great Victorian relic for its warm nostalgia, and Lynott and thousands like him have all had their own moment of melancholy at its bar.

For 130 years the mirrors of the Long Hall have captured every love affair, every break-up, every lonely man that’s caught his breath and paused as the world shoots past on Georges Street outside. It’s a calm place, even on a Saturday night. Try it on a mid-week afternoon and you can lose hours to your own imagination undisturbed.

Like the girl at the bar reading a book, the light from the chandeliers reflecting the red of her hot port. There’s a man in Lynott’s seat, teaching his younger brother about whiskey, while a group of rugby fans laugh and chat under the window.

The bar staff keep the place alive. There’s enough of a welcome to make you feel at home, a chat if you need it, and always a farewell – a simple gesture that pays back a hundred-fold.

It’s simply a beautiful place to be. The renovation it received in 1881 is the same you see today. They got it right and they’re sticking with it, decades of change elsewhere failing to break the stride of this eternally hip location.

The floor gives gently under your feet; the “correct time” clock ticks softly behind the bar; the heavy mahogany and gold-leaf carvings partition your view. In the right light, the Long Hall will sigh and rest. You should too. There are few places left in the world that allow it.


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