We’ve intended to do a write up about Smithfield square for a while now. For our money, it has one of the best concentrations of good pubs in the city centre. Lucky then that they gave us an awesome excuse to talk about the square.
Businesses in Smithfield square have come together to launch www.smithfieldsquare.ie , a site that showcases all of the events they’re planning around the Saint Patricks day weekend. It is, essentially, a mini festival within walking distance of the parade route, but possibly without the throngs of people you might expect in other areas of the city.
We like the idea of a mini festival centered around Smithfield for a few reasons.
1. It’s a pedestrianised area and has plenty of space for activities.
2. There already exists a long standing tradition of community in the area, as exemplified by these businesses working together.
3. Smithfield has a hotel and hostel on the square, so you’re going to get visitors from all over the world.
4. The area is in a Goldilocks zone where it’s not too far from the city centre, but also not too close. Thus, there might be a bit more wiggle room in Smithfield compared to other areas of the city.
5. The pubs (as we’ve said before) are great!
So let’s take a look at some of the participating pubs and what kind of entertainment they have in store for us this weekend.
Generator is a hostel and bar on the square. We liken it to those cool continental hostels that have their own bar and achieve a mood very different from what you expect in a regular bar. This isn’t a small dive bar off the communal kitchen though, it’s a large and fully functioning bar with craft beer, drinks specials, cool seating areas, a dance floor, and some really good live music events and DJs.
Over the weekend Generator will play host to house, electro, and disco DJs, acoustic sessions, live trad, maybe even a few traditional dances. They’ll also be showing the rugby games on their big screen, so this might be the pick of the bunch for Saturday rugby viewing.
The Cobblestone is probably the best live trad venue in the city, or possibly any city. It’s world renowned for its lively sessions from top musicians and this Paddy’s weekend will prove no different.
Before we get into their music too much, it’s worth noting what The Cobblestone is one of the best places for a Guinness in the city and also provides an excellent selection of Dublin and Irish craft beer. They have something for all tastes.
They’ll have live music from 1pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, so the atmosphere should be hoping from lunch time until the early hours. They’ll have sessions in the main bar, gigs in the back room, and singalong guitar sessions in the smoking area (which is now covered, but hopefully the sun will be shining).
The staff are superb and give a great welcome to Irish and tourists alike.
One of the newest additions to the square, Oscars is getting a great reputation for their food, service, and beer selection. If you’re looking for some good grub to keep you going on any of the days over the weekend, look no further than Oscars.
Hopefully the sun will be shining, so you’ll be able to soak up a few rays, along with the atmosphere on their outdoor terrace area.
They’ll have DJs most nights and also Nella Dwyer, star of RTEs The Voice, will be playing live. They serve breakfast from 10am daily.
Dice bar is one of the best indie/dive bars in the city. (We use the term dive bar in an admiring and grungy way!). They’ll have some fine indie DJs every night, and have a few craft beers on tap and in bottles.
They’re partnering with the brilliant Come Here To Me blog to provide local history tours of Smithfield on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The tour costs €6 and includes a pint of craft beer.
Frank Ryan’s is an old style, unassuming bar that marries old and modern in the atmosphere it creates. It’s a bar with a mixed crowd of all ages and a very welcoming feel.
The bar is covered with currencies of the world, vintage alcohol advertisements, musical photos, and pieces of interest from around the globe.
They have a pool table, and the pub backs onto a lane way leading into the square. There should be a bit of room for overflow should the bar get busy over the weekend.
On Sunday Ryans will play host to ‘Irish Rock Legends’ . It kicks off at 10pm.
That’s the run down of what’s going on in the pubs this weekend, but there’s also more family friendly activities going on in the cinema, cafés, and spaces in the square. You can find out all there is to know via the Smithfield square website.
We’ll have a list of all the events going on in Smithfield and around the city in a special section on the Publin app. Download here