Last Thursday night some friends lured me out, not something I've been doing too much of on a week night since becoming a recessionista. However, they assured me that not even a bottle of cheap wine was needed beforehand as we were off to Dicey Reilly's on Harcourt Street for €3 drinks AND a free platter.
I arrived to a lively bar heaving with a post-work crowd all eager to cast off the stress of the day. The bouncers won’t catch too many people sneaking a naggin in here in their handbags either, as a variety of popular drinks was all on offer for €3 with no catch. The free platter was a much welcomed bonus, as an assortment of greasy goodies were presented before us for devouring, all because we had freely reserved a table, ensuring elbow room in the thronging crowd.
When I left latish the queues were still snaking all the way down the street, a sight now rarely seen in mid-week Dublin. It reminded me of just three years ago, when as a student I had always been out on a Thursday evening, as well as the entire weekend.
A full-time student with a full-time job living at home rent-free afforded me that lifestyle. Now my luck has changed, less money with rent to pay in Ranelagh, my 20s seem to be going in reverse!
While it’s great to see a bar pull such a crowd on a week night, other bars are not so lucky and I was sad to learn recently that one of my favourites had closed. The Coast Inn in Skerries, Co Dublin, was the first pub I ever set foot in: as a child we were brought on many a Sunday afternoon for bacon fries and splash coke over crushed ice – a novelty in Fingal of 20 years ago.
It was also the first place I drank as an adult and the first place a guy ever took me for a drink. It was also the scene of many nights out in the years that followed – most notably the legendary Christmas Eve crowds that saw the whole town sneak out for a pint before Santy.
Unfortunately small town pubs have to battle for commuters who are city-bound mid-week and even cheap drinks make it a struggle to survive.
It does seem to be working on Harcourt Street though, with the suits and pencil skirts downing shots all around me. There were a lot of hangovers in town last Friday.
For once I was happy I didn’t have to be up early!