It’s all Brews and Games: The Square Ball, Hogan Place – Bar Review
With a very traditional front lounge, a back room covered in astro-turf and a wood fire oven in the same building, The Square Ball is quite a difficult one to classify.
A member of the Bodytonic alliance along with some notable other Dublin pubs such as the Bernard Shaw (the birthplace of Dublin hipsterism) and The Back Page (one of the best places to watch a match in the city), this unassuming pub on the corner of Grand Canal and Holles St. continues in the same fashion of modernising the confines of what a pub can be.
If there’s one commonality across each of the Bodytonic bars, it’s that they each have their own unique and tasty food offerings. Whether its chicken heart skewers in Wigwam or pizza by the slice from the Big Blue Bus in the Bernard Shaw, you can always rest assured that you will be well fed when frequenting any of these establishments. This tradition continues in the Square Ball with the food being served up from Fowl Play.
With choices of wood fired chicken or smoked turkey it’s not your run-of-the-mill barbecue offerings. The sides are equality inventive with fried pickles (frickles) and a peanut butter slaw that are both must trys! But the stand out stars of the menu are without doubt the chicken wings. For far too long Dublin has been subjected to the ubiquity of Frank’s Hot Sauce and butter slathered over bowls of wings and passed off as somewhat specialty.
What Fowl Play offers is a dryer wing yet still succulent on the inside and a sauce that is both as delicious as it is spicy. With the addition of a side sauce, for me these are the best wings available in the city!
Along with killer food options, The Square Ball is also a top spot for any craft beer aficionados. Not only do they pour some of their ever expanding Brew Tonic range, but they also host a weekly Beer Club on Thursday nights with free samples and a discussion on a new craft beer each week for those who attend.
If craft beer isn’t your thing then you are welcome to try out one of staggering number of board games available. Boasting a haul of over one hundred and fifty different games, there is surely one for every mood here.
Add to that table quiz’s, bingo and football nights and it seems like the type of place where there is always something going on. One particularly interesting night coming up this month is their alternative Thanksgiving Feast on Nov 24th where they will be showing the NFL and dishing out turkey with all the trimmings.
Having previously devoted every ounce of his spare time to music, Tony is more commonly found these days in a kitchen than on a stage. With experience in writing on festivals and shows around the country he has recently turned his pen to more culinary exposés. With a particular penchant for craft beer he can often be spotted travelling from one bar to another in search of the latest brew to hit the market.