Weirdo Guide to Dublin Pubs: Cassidys

I must admit, the immediate vicinity of this week’s pub is something I typically speed through as quickly as possibly – the visual clutter from its side of Westmoreland Street is not the most inviting vista, featuring, as it does, the National Wax Museum (NATIONAL WAX MUSEUM), lots of plastic major-brand logos, and CCT Dublin’s building in that block must be one of the worst insults to architecture in any European capital (and I have a soft spot for a lot of ‘ugly’ kinda-Brutalist buildings, but this…is not that). The other side is no better, with a KFC, Kingdom of Sweets, various shops selling tourist tat and TGI Fridays all taking up just slightly too much space in their tired-looking mostly-19th century buildings, some very much in need of a bit of kind restoration.

The bar at CassidysAnd yet, walk a few blocks in most directions, and you’re back in ‘tourist’ Dublin, with (slightly) cleaner streets, and Trinity College and the Central Bank/Parliament buildings just steps away – even nearby Temple Bar tends to look tidy compared to this particular section of road. And while I’d been curious about the nerdy art outside Cassidys – yes, finally, we’ve come to the pub itself – it’s only open in the evenings, and as a Tired Person who doesn’t tend to go out very late, I’d never had the chance to stop in – and, frankly, being-targeted-by-Star-Wars-art notwithstanding, I didn’t expect much from this spot – but that all changed, thanks to the hot weather that doesn’t seem to be ending.

Waxy candles at CassidysI had an event at the National Library of Ireland, and happened to be walking home past Cassidys as it was opening – and, as wearing adult clothes and walking to and from the Library had happened at the hottest part of the day, I thought I’d break up the trip home and grab something low-key to cool off; I’d heard they had a craft tap or two, so surely, I could find a refreshing Ambush or something along those lines. I was more than a little pleasantly surprised to discover that this was not a case of a few local beers, but what could nearly map onto a good bar in Brooklyn or Philly in terms of selection – local beers were represented by the likes of Rye River, Trouble, Rascals, Barrelhead, Crafty Bear and The White Hag – and not always with the most commonly-spotted beers, either. UK craft came in the form of Thornbridge, with the US represented by craft and crafty options: Cigar City, Blue Moon, Stone and Lagunitas (feel free to judge some as you prefer). There was also plenty of normal-person beer – Guinness, of course, but also Estrella, Murphy’s and Erdinger, plus a few others – and that’s before mentioning the cans.

FEELING SEENAdd in the mix of gothy-meets-nerdy dive bar décor – drippy red candles, dark wood, Star Wars art (again – I realize I am being Personally Targeted), beer and beer-adjacent stickers everywhere – and I immediately felt at home – indeed, I was annoyed with myself for not having known just what was hidden away in this otherwise-best-avoided block of Dublin. Granted, there was also a slight sense in the air that the bar staff here had ‘seen things’ – indeed, they had to remove someone only shortly after opening, but it was all handled swiftly and as politely as possible, before it became a bigger problem – I’ve mentioned it before, but I am always thoroughly impressed by how well Dublin bar staff can defuse a situation before it becomes a larger issue; I’ve not seen it done nearly as well anywhere else I’ve lived – there’s probably a larger lesson of some sort there.

They don’t seem to update any social media or websites at a useful cadence, so perhaps that’s why they had not really been on my radar; IYKYK, I suppose. Well, now you know, and knowing, as I’m sure you’re aware, is half the battle…

Where: Cassidys, 27 Westmoreland St, Dublin, D02 PX77
Access from the city centre: You are in it
Food: Pizza, apparently
Sport: Not a priority
TVs: Didn’t see any
Music: Bit of a would-be metal-bar vibe, but plenty of indie faves mixed in
Family-friendliness: Let’s not
Pub-crawl-ability: High – The Palace Bar is a short walk, JR Mahon’s, Piper’s Corner, The Flowing Tide and many more are nearby; there’s also Temple Bar, top, but you know how to manage that
Local sites of note: Trinity College, NATIONAL WAX MUSEUM, Ha'Penny Bridge, GPO, Abbey Theatre
Haunted: I sense something…a presence I’ve not felt since…
Other notes: Handy whiteboard with wifi details, beer specials and events near the front – also, plenty of cans; not to be confused with the other Cassidys in D2

2 thoughts on “Weirdo Guide to Dublin Pubs: Cassidys”

  1. Yup. It’s a fine bar, in a fairly terrible street. Makes me feel old mind you as I was there with a mate after a whiskey tasting a few years ago, and he told me his 20 yr old daughter drank there

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  2. A lot clicks into place when you realise that it's run by the same folks as P Macs and The Blackbird. Those of us of a certain age have been trained to avoid that side of the street. Despite almost every bus route in the city stopping opposite, your chances of crossing the road to catch one in time was almost nil. Now that the Luas runs past and the cars have been diverted, the young'uns take advantage of our absence.

    On Pub Crawl ability, you're also right in the middle of a Holy Trinity of classic Dublin haunts, The Palace, Bowes and Mulligans (the original “Best Guinness in the World” one, not to be confused with the unrelated modern classic, L Mulligan Grocers)

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