Doheny and Nesbitt’s has been a landmark pub in Dublin since it opened in 1867, and especially so since it got it’s name in the 20th century. D & N is one of the remaining Victorian era pubs of Dublin, and so it has the design characteristics of this period. One of these characteristics is the snug. D & N is slightly different from other pubs of it’s vintage though by virtue of that fact that it actually has 3 snugs.
The front bar is the original Victorian era pub. In that area there are 2 snugs. One at the front and one at the rear. Both have a decent amount of space and would b slightly bigger than your average. There’s seating room for around 10 people in each, or maybe more if you’re willing to squeeze.
The purpose of the snug in Victorian times was for women to come in and order tea from the barman. The pub in those days would also function as a tea grocer and might sell other items. Women could go into these snugs without fear of being seen or, heaven forbid, disturbing the men. It then followed that women might have a tipple while waiting for their tea to be packaged. Perhaps a gin and tonic. Naturally, the barman would take his time, knowing that purchasing tea was the perfect cover for these women who just wanted a drink in this prudish age.
It also functioned as a place where other members of society could drink unseen and in peace. This might include the clergy and members of the police force.
Today the pub is sought after as a comfortable semi-private area for small groups of people. The hatch to the bartender is also means quicker service and the serving of customers through the hatch is still a respected tradition.
The back bar of Doheny and Nesbitt is a recreation of a Victorian pub and it mirrors the front bar excellently. As part of this recreation, they added a third snug to the pub, roughly the same size as the 2 in the front bar.
You can still see the match strikes on the wall that were once used when smoking was acceptable, legal, and expected in the pub.