We’re well familiar with Irish and Dublin attitudes towards Temple Bar. Some love it, and some want maybe a bit of a quieter experience. As we usually tend to talk about pubs outside of the area on Publin, we wanted to bring a bit of focus back to Temple Bar and specifically one pub that we’re very familiar with, The Old Storehouse.
Ever week we bring a few dozen visiting tourists around the city on pub crawls that focus on the culture, history, heritage, and music that the cities’ pubs have to offer. We try to give them a cross section of pubs that we enjoy and ones that we think they will enjoy. We also try to give them a few different flavours of areas of the city. One pub on these tours that we keep going back to time and time again is The Old Storehouse in Temple Bart and we feel it’s only fitting that we give it its due.
Let’s start with the music and the musicians. Part of the appeal for any pub for most visitors is the quality of the music and this pub gets in some supremely talented acts, playing a variety of instruments from flute to bodhran, to Uileann Pipes, to the humble guitar. The repertoire of all of these acts of course includes various Irish traditional standards, folk songs, rebel tunes, and more. Spending a deal of time here as we do on tours the music never gets tiring or repetitive and the tune selection is broad enough to keep even the most knowledgeable musical sage interested.
In pubs like this interaction between the acts and the crowd is key and the musicians are always engaging in chat with the audience, making them feel involved and welcome.
At nine o clock on the weekends there’s also a very special treat that accompanies the music that people go simply wild for. An Irish dancer appears atop the stairs on the main floor of the bar where they perform a routine for about half the song. At this point most of the bar have their phones out and are recording the show. They go back to their drinks when they think the show has finished, only to see the dancer reappear on a spot on top of the bar where they’ve installed a rail for the dancer to hold and a spotlight from the ceiling where the show continues. For a visiting tourist who maybe didn’t want to sit down through a whole ‘dinner and a show’, this is a perfect sample of Irish dancing over a pint.
For Guinness drinking purists, it has to be said that the pub does a spot-on pint of stout. We’ve been keeping an eye out for bubbles on the heads of pints for the last few weeks (don’t judge us) and this is one of only 2 pubs where we’ve had a completely unblemished head (and the sample size has been reasonably large). That’s nit picking, we know, but we’re coming up with our own criteria for what makes and perfect pint and this is one of the factors we’re looking at.
They’re big celebrators of stout here as well. They’ve mocked up their own retro Guinness advert beer mats with an artists depiction of the pub on the alternate side. We’ve got a few as keepsakes for our pub museum of the future.
The main bar and the music emanating from it pulls you in as you enter the bar, but there’s a few other areas worth investigating as well. To the left as you enter there’s a little snug bar that for the most part is a bit easier to et served in when it’s a busy night. In here you’ll find it a bit calmer and a bit quieter. If you’re into your whiskey, the staff in here can usually give you a bit of advice and steer you in the right direction. There’s also a snug within a snug to the right of the bar if you want to go down another layer of removal from louder goings on. The window in this snug opens out onto the street, providing a welcome stream of cold air on Summers days. Speaking of Summer days, there’s also a hatch from this bar into the beer garden area. The beer garden has partial covering, meaning that you can sit outside in a sheltered area in comfort and you don’t even have to go inside again to order a pint.
Downstairs is O’Flahertys Bar, which is mostly for dining. There’s a bar, stage, and lots of seating for people who want a bit of space and some musical accompaniment with their meal. If you’re ever looking for a spot to book for a wedding reception or something along those lines, this bar would be perfect for it. It’s got its own bar, a stage, a PA system, lots of cool seating, and a great food and drink selection.
The food in The Old Storehouse is some the best pub grub we’ve seen in the city. They’ve got the traditional fare of fish and chips, angers and mash, stew, wings, burgers, chowder, steak, mussels and more. Generally when we bring groups in at the end of the tour, they take a look at the food on offer and decide to pair a bit of food with their musical entertainment.
We also have to mention the staff in this pub. We’ve gotten to know Robert and Eamonn very well in our time bringing people in and they’ve always been so welcoming and pleasant (it’s their nature) to us and everybody we bring. You can tell that this good attitude permeates the business as it’s noticeable how many staff have been there long term in an industry where people tend to move jobs a lot. It’s no doubt a frantic place to work at times (as evidenced by poor Ciaran dropping a few trays of beer and briefly getting international notoriety for it- Link.). but they’re always at the top of their game.
We feel it’s worth giving this pub a bit of a spotlight and a bit of recognition for all the good work they’re doing, providing memorable nights to visitors to the city and giving us some pleasure along the way as well.