P.Macs, Stephen Street Lower – Bar Review
For the past number of years there has been one forever reliant truth for fans of craft beer in Dublin, that there is one pub located at Drury street that will forever be brimful of punters on any given night, with loud music and an electric atmosphere. Standing on the former spot of Bia Bar, P.Macs has enjoyed immense success since opening its doors and even won the City Bar of the Year award in 2014 for their efforts.
Part of a chain including other Dublin hotspots Cassidy’s of Westmorland Street and Blackbird in Rathmines, these award winning bars could be considered responsible for the hallmark appearance of most craft beer bars in and around the country. With old-school board games and free crisps and sweets straight from the 90s, there is certainly a nostalgic charm about these three bars. With wax covered candelabra and dozens of tacky old lampshades, they could be considered dive bars to many. However, for those who frequent these establishments, tablecloths and lighting fixtures are of no significance when immersing themselves in a culture of great music and even better beer.
A unique and all too unfamiliar feature of the bar is the inclusion of a number private snugs, something that faces greater chances of extinction as the building blocks of what makes an Irish pub continue to morph and evolve. With fully closing doors, each snug is big enough to fit four comfortably, but each has been known to house many more close friends, crammed in like sardines. The exception to this is the corner snug at the very end of the bar that is considerably bigger. With private bar access and the only TV in the bar, this is prime real estate for any major sporting occasion and also works great to reserve for a small event or birthday celebration.
The range of beers on offer here is about as extensive as you are going to find in the city, with a varied selection of taps, bottles and cans. You will always find the main crowd pleasers such as Punk IPA and Sierra Nevada but there is also a good number of rotating taps and the guys are always quick off the mark to get in the latest sought after brews.
Being part of a small hotel means that P.Macs not only runs a full breakfast service each morning but they also boast quite an impressive daily menu. The food here is far more than an after thought, as is often the case with craft bars. Instead the menu easily contends with some of the best on the country’s gastro-pub listing, with the fish finger tacos an instant star and an absolutely knockout dish.
You will always find an eclectic mix of folk in here at any time, from musicians and creative types to office workers and tourists. It is a must try for any beer lover in Dublin looking for a loud night out or some great food over a brew.
30 Stephen Street Lower
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.