The Wiley Fox, Eden Quay – Bar Review
What was once the spot of ‘The Pint’ on Dublin’s Eden Quay, The Wiley Fox has now taken the reins of this north side premises in an attempt to find greater fortune and success along the riverside than it’s predecessor. Although not regarded as prime frontage, the location does have significant footfall beyond it’s threshold and is one the select few bars around the capital that can boast long patches of sun out front during the better days of the year.
With a beer range devoted entirely to the Irish craft, there is a decent selection on display, with Franciscan Wells and Brú taking centre stage, and also a small variety of bottles featuring fellow Irish stalwarts O’Haras and some stubbies from new comers to the scene, Rascals. However, the Wiley Fox have gone that one step above and beyond most other craft pubs and have even brewed their own offerings, with a house stout and larger available to try on draft.
The setting of the main room here is where this bar comes ups trumps. The perfect combination of modern, warm, weathered and quirky, qualities that a lot of bars only manage to pull off one of. They’ve avoided going for the all too common ramshackle up-cycled approach taken by too many craft beers bars around the city, with battered old furniture salvaged from old school yards or skips, the Fox has opted instead to splash out on new comfortable seats and tables, that their customers would actually choose to sit at.
The stylish artwork dotted throughout the room gives a modern edge to the aesthetic, without being too harsh. The room feels like it has been designed by a creative, artsy type, as opposed to a contracted interior designer, and it has very successfully manages to retain the feel of an actual pub as opposed to a gimmick/novelty bar.
The brightly lit open-kitchen to the back left of the room marks a stark contrast with the warm lighting throughout, and looks a bit odd. Especially during a lull when a solitary cook can be seen mooching about. The disposable six pack Sol bottle holder used to deliver cutlery and condiments to each table also seem ill-fitting and serve to cheapen the whole dining experience. However, maybe this is exactly the intention as when reviewing the menu, the great value is abundantly clear to see.
With most menu items clocking in around the €8-€9 mark, there is a decent variety to choose from and with a meal deal offer of any main, any side and a soft/hot drink for €10 on the nose, we have a new contender for the crown of best value lunch in the city.
Being a relatively young craft beer nation, we may still be a way off from being able to have a bar devoted to purely Irish beers that can still offer an extensive range, but it is great to see that at this stage of Ireland’s craft revolution we may just be at a point were such bars are becoming a distinct possibility, and with fellow Irish peers Bar Rua also doing great things south of the river, the future is looking promising for Irish craft beer all the way from brew to tap.
The Wiley Fox,
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.