Weirdo Guide to Dublin Pubs: Slattery’s

Outside Slattery's on Capel StreetWhat, you might ask, is an early house? If you’re not a Dublin local, this may not be a familiar phrase, but this week, we’re heading to one of the city’s very few remaining such establishments – Slattery’s. For the uninitiated, an early house is a pub with a special license allowing it to open at 7 am. While most pubs can open at 10.30, and a fair few do, it’s usually breakfast or tea and coffee people are going for then – you don’t have to assume Airport Rules apply. But in the early houses, no one would look askance at that 7 am pint, as the original aim of the licensing was to offer a pub experience for those working unsociable hours; back when the rules were drawn up, that meant dock workers, market traders and the like, but the tradition continues for health care practitioners coming off night shifts and others in a similar position – they could enjoy their time-shifted after-work pint. Nowadays, though, early houses that actually exercise their early-opening options are few and far between, and for that reason, Slattery’s is one of a very few go-to options – though even they don’t throw open the doors until 9 am.

The main bar at Slattery'sI’ve only done the (relatively) early-morning visit there a few times, and in both cases, it was For Science – once to scope out the best spot to record a Beer Ladies Podcast episode, and the second time to actually make the recording, though it’s certainly not our finest hour when it comes to sound quality. Even at 9 am, there can be a fair-sized crowd, especially with North American tourists whose flights landed at 6 am and they are waiting to get into their hotel rooms. For them, Airport Rules certainly seem to apply, and they can be liberal with their breakfast Guinnesses (though as an overnight flight in coach is a generally awful experience, no shade here for them).

Upstairs at Slattery'sAnd it is the Guinness most seem to be coming for; there aren’t any craft options, but they have added both 0.0 and the Heineken 0.0 of late, so there are alcohol-free options for those who want to have that morning pint, but also a reasonably productive day. Slattery’s has a classic Irish pub interior, with lots of dark wood and deep colours, some snugs and various nooks and crannies, as well as tributes to local historical and musical figures throughout the bar. And it does draw both that curious tourist and a steady local crowd, so it’s always a lively mix.

I’d still love to see at least one local craft tap some day, but when in the mood for a Guinness, it’s a fine spot.

Where: 129 Capel St, North City, Dublin 1, D01 YN83
Access from the city centre: Buses 13, 27, 49, 77A, 83, 151, Luas Red Line to Jervis or 12-ish minute walk
Food: Breakfast, bar snacks and all the other usual meals
Sport: All the big sports are on
TVs: In various spots throughout
Music: MOR tunes and live music options
Family-friendliness: There is a kids’ menu and they are most welcome at the usual (and slightly unusual) times
Pub-crawl-ability: High – the many pubs and bars of Capel Street include Pantibar, J McNeil’s Pub, The Black Sheep, Underdog, to name just a few; The Hacienda is just down the road, and The King’s Inn and Bonobo are also quite close, – Fidelity isn’t so far, either…
Local sites of note: Capel Street, Four Courts, Collins Barracks, National Leprechaun Museum, at some point, the Fruit & Veg Market will reopen…
Haunted: There is the Ghost Story Gathering upstairs…
Other notes: Not to be confused with Slattery’s in D4
Socials: Instagram

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