McDaid's, Harry Street, Dublin

By rareAdmin, Friday, 12th December 2014 | 0 comments
Filed under: Irish Pub Reviews.

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McDaids situated on Harry Street just off Grafton Street. A classic boozer that is an ideal setting to appreciate a pint. Former haunt of Brendan Behan and Paddy Kavanagh and has been identified by Joycean scholars as the setting for the opening of his story, Grace.

The building that houses McDaids can be traced back to the late 18th century and was once the City Morgue before being taken over by the Moravian Brothers and used as a chapel. They developed the practice of standing their corpses in a vertical position and it’s suggested this may be the reason for the very high ceilings in the pub. It went through a litany of owners and was known as William Daly’s Bar before John McDaid purchased the pub in 1936.

Many literary greats have frequented here over the years but the 50’s and 60’s were the decades when the pub truly established its now famous reputation. Brendan Behan, Paddy Kavanagh, Brian O’Nolan, Austin Clarke, Anthony Cronin, J.P. Donleavy and Liam O’Flaherty are just a handful of the famous writers that have graced the floors, quenched their thirsts and sought their inspiration in McDaids over the years.

McDaid's has a distinctive Victorian exterior with a classic eye catching 1950's Guinness mug lamp and green Marshall Field's style clock. When you step inside you find an old style bar, high ceilings and a smattering of chairs and tables. The dimly lit bar has all the atmosphere of a classic Irish boozer, a secretive shrine to the art of convivial conversation and gossip. McDaid's has retained its character by not changing its essential design, its still looks pretty much the same as it was fifty years ago. There is no loud music, much bubbling conversation, and a nice friendly clientele with a good mix of local punters, tourists and students. Last but not least, the Guinness is cold, creamy and just right!