During a recent visit to the library to look up pubs on the National Newspaper Archive we cam across a description of The Palace Bar at the turn of the beginning of the 20th century.
For a lot of pubs we have photographs going back to maybe the 1940’s, but beyond that it’s difficult to get any description of pubs save for advertisements for a lease of the pub that may detail the various floors. This advertisement featuring The Palace sought to show off the recent refurbishment in anticipation of a forthcoming sale of the premises.
In 1901 the pub was known as ‘Hall’s’, after the owner of the time. He had put an advert in the Evening Herald do announce the opening of the ‘New Bar’. 4 years later Mr Hall apparently decided to retire. It’s from this advert that we get a good description of the building at the time.
The premises are exceptionally well placed, within one door of Westmoreland street, and consist of an imposing four-storey structure replete in every sense, having handsome limestone and polished granite front. The bar is one of the best appointed in the city. The walls are decorated with bevelled mirrors, and the massive doors and partitions are furnished with handsome muffed and engraved glazings.
With the exception of the large doors, this does appear to describe the bar as it is today.
The lavatory is roomy and well appointed. The cellarage is very commodious and lofty, and has concreted floors. The dwelling accommodation, having halldoor entrance, consists of dining room, drawing room, 3 bedrooms, kitchen with close (unknown), bath with hot and cold water, w.c.
The halldoor entrance referenced here is likely the door that leads to a staircase and what is now The Whiskey palace upstairs. Is was very common for publicans to either live above the pub or to rent out the spaces to further their income.
The vendor and his late brother carried on a most successful trading for several years in this house, and he has now decided to retire from business. Having regard to the excellent condition of the premises, the unique position they occupy, and the facilities possessed for conducting the large business with which this house has been favoured, these premises should attract the attention of buyers of really high-class licensed property.
Interestingly, during the renovations in the pub in 1901 the then publican let people know that he would temporarily be trading from 1 Burgh Quay, which is now the location of The River Bar. In or around that time there was a pub on the site (of course well before the construction of O’Connell Bridge House) that went by the name of ‘The Moon’.
The pub was originally established in 1823 and was purchased by Bill Aherne in 1946 for 27,000. The pub is still owned and operated by the Aherne family today. You can read more of the history of the pub on their website.