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noby
10-10-2005, 03:31 AM
I was in Dublin the weekend, and was interested to try the new Porterhouse at the top of Grafton street.

Any time I'm in Dublin I always try to get to the Porterhouse in Temple Bar in the afternoon to enjoy a couple of drinks. At that time it's not so busy, and a seat is easily had, compared to later in the night when the place is jammed. I have nothing but good things to say about the Temple bar one. I never ventured as far as the Glasnevin one.
The staff are always both knowledgable and friendly. The last time I was there I sat at the bar near the door, and watched with great amusement as one particular bar man fielded a constant chain of requests for Guinness, Bud etc. (which they don't sell). Each time he was polite and guided them towards an alternative, explaining about their own brews etc.

This saturday, we were up on Grafton street, and as my wife wasn't yet shopped-out, I decided to pop into the new Porterhouse for a look. My first impressions were not good, I must say.
Firstly, and only a moot point, it was wall to wall widescreen tv's showing football. I know there's a market for this, and I love football myself, but I guess I don't associate football with the Porterhouse, and I was loking for a relaxing pint. Minor issue.

I took a seat at the bar, and ordered a Cooper's sparkling. An opened bottle was plonked in front of me. Eventually I attracted another bar man's attention to ask for a glass. This, I thought was a major error.

While I sat and drank, a couple walked in, and the man asked another barman (who had a tie on, so I'm guessing some level of seniority) for a Guinness and a Budweiser.
The barman replied (rather smugly) "We don't do Guinness, and we don't do Budweiser"
There was an awkward silence for a couple of seconds, then the couple walked out. There was no offer of an alternative; no explanation; nothing.

The couple next to me also got served the wrong food, which I understand can happen anywhere, but just added to my overall bad impression of the place.

Oh, and they also have Heineken on tap, which, if you ask me, is a total cop out. It meant their taps consisted of their own brews, the okto specials they had on, and Heineken!?!

Maybe it's just teething problems. I'm sure I'll try it again, to give them a chance, but the next time I'll take the short walk to Temple Bar.


Cormac

guildofevil
10-10-2005, 05:03 AM
That's bloody disgraceful. Just turn away customers.

I heard that the Grafton street one was not good, although I haven't actually gone there myself. A friend was in there a few weeks ago and told me that they don't have TSB on tap. Did you notice if this was the case when you were there? It may simply have been teething problems but the presence of a Heineken tap coupled with the absence of their cask conditioned ale points to a worrying trend.

Having said that, I think they tailor each Porterhouse to the location anyway. The Temple Bar one was the first and is the template which the others use as a starting point. The Bray one is more relaxed, has a better food selection (IIRC) and does accommodation. Sounds like the Grafton street one is for the trendy crowd, who can be treated like dirt but still come back because the place is hip.

The Glasnevin one is only a ten or fifteen minute walk from my house and has become my local. The staff, by contrast to your experience in the Grafton street Porterhouse, are very friendly and helpful. The food is the same as in Temple Bar but with stone oven pizzas added (highly recommended). They also do the wide-screen TV for the football thing but I can understand that, even though I'm not a fan myself. The best feature has to be the beer garden though.

This place was opened during the smoking ban so they have included a large beer garden, with proper tables, comfy seats and heaters on the walls. They even have a wide-screen TV outside, so you can smoke, drink, eat a pizza and watch the match at the same time. Unlike most Irish pubs, which still haven't fully understood the concept of outside seating, the Porterhouse Galsnevin treat their outdoor seating the same way as their indoor seating, with staff members clearing tables and sweeping up regularly. They do table service outside and have enough outdoor seating that even we non-smokers can sit outside with a pint.

Far too many pubs just stick a couple of tables outside and ignore them most of the time, so that they end up filthy, with cigarette buts overflowing from the ashtray and building up on the ground for hours without being swept up.

Sťan

noby
10-10-2005, 05:21 AM
Originally posted by guildofevil
A friend was in there a few weeks ago and told me that they don't have TSB on tap. Did you notice if this was the case when you were there? It may simply have been teething problems but the presence of a Heineken tap coupled with the absence of their cask conditioned ale points to a worrying trend.


Defenitley no TSB. I was also told by someone there was no Wrassler. I didn't see any myself, and it didn't look like they had all their other brews either, but I only glanced at the taps.

Oh yeah, when I mentioned Heineken, they also had Bulmers on tap.

I understand the whole tailoring to the location thing, I guess I just expected better from them.

I've passed the Glasnevin one several times, but I've yet to stop there for a pint. Maybe next time.
I'm hoping to be in Bray friday night for a match, so I'll try to squeeze in a visit to that one (although we may end up staying in Dublin and just getting the dart out)

guildofevil
10-10-2005, 06:19 AM
I'd offer to meet you for a pint but I'll be in London drinking Real Ale.

Sťan

MeridianFC
10-11-2005, 04:27 PM
Shame about the experience at the Grafton Street location, though given the environs it's maybe not surprising. On the plus side if there were more of what my wife calls "Men's Shopping Pubs" the world might be a better place. It's brilliant really, the wife can go and spend your accounts toward penury, whilst you drink away your troubles.

I've always loved the Porterhouse Temple Bar location, more in the daytime as Cormac notes. Great beer and very nice facility, even outside the fact that it offers choice in a landscape where that is not at a premium.

BTW was the absolute status of the Dublin Brewing Co. ever decided on? Are they completely out of business?

Kelly

noby
10-19-2005, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by MeridianFC
BTW was the absolute status of the Dublin Brewing Co. ever decided on? Are they completely out of business?

Kelly

Apparantley so. Seems they slipped quietly away about six months ago.
Shame really.

As for the "Men's shopping pubs", I tend to agree, but the next time I'll take the short walk to temple bar