The Workman’s Club, Wellington Quay – Bar Review
Since opening its doors back in 2010, the Workman’s Club on the south banks of the river Liffey has firmly established itself as a mainstay of the Dublin nightlife scene. With a sprawling and ever evolving array of rooms, this late bar often serves as a last port of call for those not ready to see their night end early. Attracting an eclectic crowd of musicians, artists and new-media type ageing from late teens to early forties, it’s a sort of Coppers for the creative class.
That been said, the Workies (as it is commonly referred to) has a far lot more to offer than a late pint and the chance of a ‘shift’. With a colourful retrofitted style throughout, the club is like a drunken love child of Willy Wonka and a Wes Anderson movie set. This is nowhere more emphasized than in the upstairs ‘Vintage Room’, which is like a blast from the past for anyone fortunate enough to have seen the 80’s. With its own private bar and holding up to fifty people, this room is available for hire and would make for a both unique and lively Christmas party spot.
The bars themselves are stoked with the usual well-known international beers, and a small selection of craft bottles such as Joker IPA or the core range from local Wicklow Wolf Brewery. There are inexpensive cocktails on offer as well as jars of Vardy’s moonshine for those with a sweet tooth, and although the queues for the bar can become excessive at peak times, it is worth noting that there is also a small bar that operates from in the smoking area.
Back down on the ground floor is where your main venue can be found. A stripped back, dark room, stage at one end, sound desk at the other, the atmosphere is reminiscent of Eamonn Doran’s in its heyday, although it feels more like the grown-up older brother of the now defunct Irish rock bar. Over the years, the club has worked hard to bring in the best names in alternative music. With the likes of Royal Blood, The Album Leaf, Little Green Cars, Future Islands and Japanese math rock heroes Lite, it has earned the status of one of the best small stages in the city.
But it’s upstairs that the real antics occur. Having suffered on first opening with the lack of an adequate smoking area, eventually a rather ramshackle rooftop terrace setup was erected. It quickly became the place to finish your night for every twenty-something in the city centre, therefore more time and work has been invested into this space over the years and what stands here now is a truly unique Narnia-esque environment. With colourful doors hanging around the walls like gateways to other… pubs?
This is one of the liveliest places to be on any given weekend, whether popping-in for an amazing Wow burger at lunch or squeezing through the crowds at 2:25 am for one last drink, it’s without a doubt one for every Dubliner’s bucket list.
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.