Weirdo Guide to Dublin Pubs: Mema’s

The bar at Mema's

In our discussion of Slattery’s last week, we mentioned that in-use early house licenses are becoming ever-more-rare, and this week’s pub is one that held such a license in its previous incarnation as The Metro, but nowadays, it’s business-hours-as-usual at Mema’s on Parnell Street. But that may be one of the few ‘as usual’ elements of this comfortable bar – few other Dublin pubs have a decorated pizza oven or cocktail towers, though fear not, Guinness enthusiasts – you’re well looked-after, too.

A pint of Rye River at Mema'sAnd yet, while some of those elements may not be what tourists envision when they think ‘Irish pub,’ Mema’s feels very much part of the fabric of the neighbourhood. One of the reasons I especially enjoy stopping in – beyond the comfortable seating options – is their support for independent Irish beer. There is always Ambush on from Trouble, and usually something from Rye River as well, plus a few other wild cards. The same can be said for their championing smaller Irish distillers, and some of the cocktails are a great way to showcase those producers (perhaps not, it must be said, in the ‘tower’ format, but in your standard-sized cocktail, absolutely).

The beer garden at Mema'sThere’s also what sometimes feels like a secret beer garden, which is a welcome respite on Parnell Street, and Mema’s is definitely one of those pubs that seems, TARDIS-like, to be bigger on the inside. In addition, it’s a handy spot for us Northside folk to meet friends, with the Luas just outside.  And speaking of meeting friends, it’s an ideal spot for a group hang (if you make a reservation, obviously – don’t be That Group that shows up with 15 people and no booking) – there are many seating options, and something for nearly every taste.

While early opening hours may be a thing of the past, Mema’s more than makes up for that with a slate of interesting events, music and drink options. The fact that it’s a handy walk for me is merely a bonus!

Where: 155 R803, Rotunda, Dublin
Access from the city centre: 15 minute walk; buses 1, 11, 9, 13, 16, 44, 46, 155, Luas Green Line
Food: Pizza, wings, chips
Sport: Not a sportsball spot
TVs: If they exist, they are well-hidden
Music: Usually a great indie vibe and some live music and comedy gigs
Family-friendliness: More of a post-uni scene, but there is pizza…
Pub-crawl-ability: Medium-high – The Big Romance, Kimchi Hophouse, The Flowing Tide, The Confession Box and Piper's Corner are not far at all
Local sites of note: Mountjoy Square, Rotunda Hospital, Hugh Lane Gallery, Garden of Remembrance, Abbey Theatre
Haunted: There could absolutely be haunted furniture or antiques; someone should start a rumour
Other notes: Lots of friendly doggos
Socials: Instagram, Facebook