Make a move to . . . Stoneybatter: homes may be small but there’s a big community buzz
The first of a series on neighbourhoods in Dublin and the commuter counties
Manor Street, Stoneybatter: new restaurants, food trucks and artisanal gift shops sit alongside drapers and family-run stores that have been in operation for decades. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Famously dubbed ‘Williamsburg on the Liffey’ by the Guardian newspaper, the ’Batter is, like many city-centre neighbourhoods, a clash of old and new. On its main artery, Manor Street, new restaurants, food trucks and artisanal gift shops sit alongside drapers and family-run stores that have been in operation for decades. Folks come for the myriad transport links and proximity to the city centre/Phoenix Park/Heuston Station/Smithfield/DIT Grangegorman, and stay for the inimitable village-like, community feel.
What’s not so good?
Stoneybatter’s trendy reputation has seen a huge rise not just of purpose-built student accommodation blocks, but also Airbnb guests to its warren of terraced red-brick houses (136 homes on the site, compared to 46 in nearby Kilmainham). And, if you’re looking for a spacious, airy house with a sizeable garden, be prepared to pony up well over the odds, for they are few and far between. Your money will certainly buy you a charming period property, but many of them are under 90sq m. The village as it stands is also at risk now that the NTA has proposed plans to remove trees, footpaths, green spaces, loading bays and parking areas to make space for the capital’s Bus Connects plan.
Where and what to buy?
There are still bargains to be had on the roads of red-bricked 19th-century terraced houses, although anything priced at the reasonable end of the market is likely to need a significant upgrade. 192 Oxmantown Road (€420,000 via The Property Shop) and 33 Ard Righ Road (€420,000, via The Property Shop) are both in turnkey condition for those averse to a major project.
Fancy a three- or four-bed property? 55 Manor Street (€435,000 via Sherry FitzGerald) is a three-bed with potential to expand, while 8 St Bricin’s Park (€370,000 via The Property Shop) is a little off the beaten path, but at a more accessible price point.
Where and what to rent?
Rent for two-bed cottages and terraced houses can clock in around the €2,000-€2,200 mark. An equivalent apartment, meanwhile, will set you back about €1,650-€1,950.
Where to eat and drink?
Pub-wise, take your pick on Manor Street alone from The Belfry (young, hip, loud on the weekends), Walsh’s (a local institution), The Glimmer Man (where locals who grew up in the area mingle with the man-bun blow-ins), and Tommy O’Gara’s (gaining ground as a trendy spot). Kavanaghs on Aughrim Street is a quieter Victorian-era spot. L Mulligan Grocer on Manor Street, serving up a modern Irish menu, is a firm favourite with tourists, while Lilliput Stores on Arbour Hill attracts coffee fans from far and wide. Slice (56 Manor Place) comes into its own for lunch, while newcomer Social Fabric (34 Stoneybatter) whips up a mean brunch. There are plenty of other eateries to frequent, from Japanese (KuRaudo Sushi & Gyoza at 3 Stoneybatter) and vegan (Beo Kitchen, 50 Manor Street) to Italian (Grano, 5 Norseman Court) and American comfort food (Chili Shack, 3 Prussia Street).
Who lives there?
Lovely shades of the earthy northside remain, but the sweep of gentrification has seen a significant influx of young families, trendy professionals and students. There’s a sizeable new faction of media/creative gunslingers living in Stoneybatter, too.
Good for families?
There are several schools in the immediate area, among them the Dublin 7 Educate Together primary school (mixed) on Fitzwilliam Place, St Gabriel’s National School (mixed) on Cowper Street, Stanhope Street Convent (girls) on Stanhope Street, and St Paul’s CBS Secondary School (boys) on Brunswick Street. Green spaces can be accessed at Grangegorman, the Phoenix Park and at Arbour Hill cemetery.
Getting there and getting around
Take the Red Line Luas to Museum or the Green Line Luas to Grangegorman; both stops are a five-minute walk to Manor Street. The 37, 39, and 70 buses pass through the area. For now, at least.
What do locals say?
“I love that Stoneybatter still has a real village feel and there are lots of different generations here. You can really get to know your neighbours and everyone looks out for each other. It’s a very friendly place and is full of great independent shops, really nice places to eat and is so close to the Phoenix Park.” – Laura O’Herlihy, financial administrator.