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Walk around Temple bar these days (2020) and it is a shell of what it used to be, we sat down and spoke with Robbie , the General Manager of the Old Storehouse one of Temple Bar’s most popular Tourist Bars & Restaurant to find out more about himself and the history of the Bar, along with his current thoughts on how Covid is affecting the tourist industry in General.

The Old Storehouse is one of our most favourite bars in all of Dublin, even though it is generally a touristic spot, it has some of the greatest Trad musicians the Island of Ireland has to offer and some of the best Irish Grub in town. Friendly and welcoming staff make this a regular haunt for locals and Tourist’s alike. Robbie himself is somewhat of a local celebrity, you’ll find him on their Facebook page in many videos, teaching people how to wash hands to the tune of ‘Jolene’ , or many videos celebrating the good craic that can be had in the bar, he’s also a mad Tottenham Hotspur’s fan but we won’t hold it against him.

The Bar itself actually consists of 3 bars, The main Bar on the top floor with bar, stage and Restaurant, O’flaherty’s downstairs which has a much larger stage and ample seating for many live music shows, food and drinks are also served below and our favourite little Snug Bar. – Tommy’s Bar, a cosy little hideaway from all the hustle and bustle outside. It’s like having your own barman/barmaid in your living room!

The bar is well worth a visit and the most redeeming quality about it is it’s abundance of space and the many historical Irish pictures dotted around the building. You can enjoy your food and beer in a nice atmosphere and don’t need to worry about it ever getting too crowded (Except some weekends…but isn’t that the fun of it all!).

All in all the Music is Great, the food is Great , the staff are great and it also has a neat smoking area , adorned with Guinness’s new Roe & Co. Pear Whiskey. The history of the building is also quite fascinating as told by the man himself!

Interview- Sept 2020 with Robbie McCarthy GM Old Storehouse:

Dermot :

Couple of questions. First things first, Who are you? what do you do here? And how did you get in the Bar Trade?

Robbie:
Me? My name is Robert McCarthy. I’m the GM of the old storehouse pub in Temple Bar.I’ve been here the 11 years, how did I fall into the bar game? When I was in school and 17 in my last year of school, I got a part-time job over in a nightclub in Dublin 4 for the Burlington hotel and yeah, just started collecting glasses then and then went on from there. It’s just the whole social aspect of it all that was appealing to me. It was Annabel’s nightclub in the Burlington hotel. Very famous, very famous back then.

Dermot:

11 Years later you ended up here!

Robbie:
That was In 1989, and then, after a year or two later, I started working in the bar upstairs in the hotel, stay there for about three years, and then decided to go to Germany for two years. Had a great short time in Berlin , came back two years later, we’re back to the Burlington to stay there three years, started getting itchy feet again, and decided to go to Australia! So then I went to Sydney in Australia for two years, and did a bit of travelling around the world and all that jazz and then I came back and then started walking in a pub on the Quays and then felt mature, mature enough to get into management and then going into management jobs in 2002 . Ended up close by , in the Quays in Temple Bar in 2003 this bar close to here. Yeah, stay there for six years and then I came over here to the old storehouse, which is only about 200 metres from the Quay’s.

Dermot:
Where does the name come from the old storehouse?

Robbie:
Well this was an actual storehouse for years and it dates back over 100 years and became a public house in the mid 90s and it was called the rock garden. And yes, it became a Eamonn Dorans rock bar witth many famous acts all devolved played here, Cranberries to name but a few…any any Irish act generally started giging here in Dublin. Radiohead did their first European gig here actually!

Yeah.

And yeah, they’ve the fun loving criminals one of the guys was part owner here, Huey from the Fun Lovin Criminals, oh and the republic of loose, Yeah, they were formed here and they were the house band for Eamonn Dorans, that’s right. And then unfortunately Eamon Dorans wasn’t successful during the recession. So that’s when I came to run the bar for the owner of the building. We went with the Guinness Storehouse concept /name because we are going to be a tourist pool to connect people come in who are in the Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Storehouse is the most visited tourist attraction in Ireland. So hence the connection with the name Old Storehouse.

Dermot:
A Connection with the name Storehouse then!

Robbie
But it was a storehouse this place was a storehouse and it was old! ,.. so makes sense!

Dermot:
There’s a part of this building. I heard correct me if I’m wrong, was possibly used in the Rebellion as a bomb making factory!

Robbie
Could well be I’ve not heard that.

I’d say this building has a lot of stories to tell in the last 200 years.

Dermot:
The names of the bars, so this Tommy’s Bar Snug, Where does the name come from?

Robbie:
Tommy come from when we were building the pub because this was a rock and roll bar and when we were building the pub to what it is now, there was an on-site carpenter, for the four five years and his name was Tommy. He was a bit of an old character. So he built that Snug and we decided that we will call it Tommy’s bar in his honour!

Dermot:
As far as the downstairs bar is concerned O’Flaherty’s , so far as any particular reason why it’s called this?

Robbie:
We went with this name because it was an Irish name, and we wanted to the honour our Irish American colleagues. O’Flaherty’s is at the old storehouse, we in hindsight, and when people were looking for it, they couldn’t spell Flaherty’s, right. So a lot of people didn’t get it. Okay. In hindsight, we maybe should have done a different name for it.

Dermot Murphy
So no significance really then!

Robbie
absolutely no, see, no, not nothing. Not

Dermot:
You’ve said, there’s been a lot of Musicians coming in over the years, and even in Eamonn Dorans time. Gavin James I believe played here?

Robbie:
Yes he played here as well, when we opened the pub 11 years ago, the place Sat night was doing quite well as was Friday , Sunday wasn’t doing that well and three young lads who were kind of 17 to 18, good musicians came in here said they’d like to gig here and we gave them a shot on a Sunday night and they grew the pub and , one of the guy’s name was Gavin Rigglesworth who went on to become Gavin James.

Dermot:
Oh, I did not know that wasn’t his real name!

Robbie:
His real name was Wrigglesworth. We believe he thought that wasn’t a good stage name, I guess. So change to Gavin James, a bit like Elton john. and Cliff Richard.

Dermot:
In regard to what’s going on at the minute, the whole COVID-19 thing this bar is to have the bullets of maximum occupancy in here.

Robbie:
800 ppl generally.

Dermot:
What do you think is the Unique Selling Point ? What do you think is unique about this bar compared to other bars?

Robbie:
What we have here is a lot of space in this area, we do food, drink and live music. We kind of do our trade. Some of them just do two of them, someone would just do one of them. We have an advantage with our size and what we’ve kind of created here we do our three main jobs really well. We also have space on our side. So we do good food, have a great restaurant and are filled with really good musicians so we generally have a full bar.

Dermot:
I think space actually is one of the best selling points during this pandemic!

Robbie:
Spaces is our friend, as well. Yeah!

Dermot:

Just in regard to this COVID I skipped over. How do you think it’s going to pan out in the next year? 12 months? Yeah, how are you finding it?

Robbie:
It’s, it’s gonna be tough. We reopened here on the 6th July and we are doing less than 20% of business what we are doing this time last year. And as long as flights don’t come in to Dublin, I can see an increased anymore what what we’re doing at the minute, maybe a tiny, tiny tiny bit for so. So if

Dermot :
you don’t get the tourists into this country, you’re basically in a tight spot then?

Robbie:
Correct!

Like the rest, like the rest of us definitely not doing well like all hospitality particularly in the Temple Bar area.

Dermot:
Yes. Particularly. Even the Temple Bar bars Yeah, because not many Tourists coming in!

Robbie
all the main players in terms of Temple Bar Bars are still closed!

Dermot Murphy
What do you think of the safety COVID charter

How do you think it’ll effects because it’s based on Irish people coming here? Yeah, right here.

Robbie:
Yeah, I don’t think it’s been well thought out. I think it’s just been a knee jerk reaction. I don’t think they’ve talked to people hands on the ground to to get it right and it’s…….yeah not been good!

Dermot:
Do you have any memorable nights here? Do you have any any one night that kind of stand up here?

Robbie:
Yeah, I think Gavin James’s last night was singing here. Before he went when he signed his record deal. Was to me was a real special night for me.

That’s about six years ago.

is a Sunday night about six years ago and it was his last night. It was last night Gigging here because he was here and he was. He was a Sunday night singer for about four or five years!

Dermot:

And what types of musics do you do here?

Robbie:
Yeah, we mostly do Irish music. Yeah. And we feel on a Friday and Saturday night when there’s more people, younger people we kind of bit do a bit more contemporary, but certainly up to up to up to nine or 10 every night and then we stick with Irish music, Irish style music.

Dermot:

With the Staff here, you probably had to cut down during the Covid Crisis?

Robbie:
It was, we had 42 staff on payroll before covid and we would have been expanding , we would have been that was in middle of March. So we would have increased probably to about 47/48 during summer and currently we have hired back only 14 staff!

Dermot:
Wow…That’s sad. That’s very sad. Considering Yeah, yeah.

See all the memorabilia things in the world were they bought by the owner?

Robbie:

Yeah, they were bought by us!
So what we did was we decided on an idea and we had an in house Carpenter here for six years. We only closed the parts of the bar as needed. So we did it our way as the Bar was open. There’s a place on up north where you can go and buy our old style memorabilia, which we did. We just added on in time and took ideas from other places.

Dermot:
Yeah, anything in the bar that you particularly think it’s worth a few quid, you know, very unique?

Robbie:
Yeah, there’s a few things that we bought on eBay over the years and would be particularly expensive, but most of them would be would be just generic.

Dermot:
Is there any one item that you can remember ?Anything that sticks out?

Robbie:
We had jersey’s we’ve taken them down already. We had a boxing glove of Katie Taylor. We gave that to someone kind of stayed away from the whole sport, oh we have a Guinness lamp behind Tommy’s bar with a Toucan and that was that was quite expensive.

Dermot:
If you had an infinite budget, loads of money! What would you do with this place? What could you see yourself? like seeing the way that what I’m getting at is the way the bars are coming out onto the street more?

Robbie:
Yes,Yeah, the whole area should be pedestrianised. Thank you. We would love to have loads of furniture , tables and chairs outside our Bar but nothing so far. Yes. We would love to have it and we’ve gone we’ve gone down every channel to try and put furniture outside but unfortunately the council have said no no no and rejected the idea.

Dermot:

Thanks for your Time Robbie! Much appreciated

Robbie:

Pleasure!

Anti-Social : Dublin’s Hottest New Bar!

Fresh from the creator’s that brought you Dublin’s craziest Bingo Rave ‘Bingo Loco’ this Bar was bound to not disappoint. Located in one of Dublin’s most up and coming vibrant areas the Liberties, Dublin 8.Anti-Social boasts an impressive selection of fine drinks and unique events. The liberties is attracting all the coolest artist, musicians and creators in town so it is no wonder that this is where they decided to setup their first Bar. Is it Anti – Social? Not in the least, the staff are friendly and warm, youthful and exuberant on suggesting the best beers/cocktails they have to offer.

There is a great Craft Beer selection, something after my own tastes would be a lovely White Hag IPA. The floors are sparkly, the walls are adorned with pink and orange posters to keep you awake and vibrant! There is even a well spaced out smoking area with tent like cover to keep the pesky rain away to all you smokers out there! The bathrooms are decorated in all pink B-movie posters which are worth a browse also, while you tend to business. Super clean and super compliant during these Covid Times it’s definitely worth a look. Their Cheese toasties are just the ticket to quench your hunger and if you miss them that much you can even get them on Deliveroo! With such titles as ‘The Anti-Social’, ‘The big Cheese’ and ‘Big Daddy Buff’ you can’t go wrong!

The absolute Genius marketing team behind this bar got into survival mode once the lockdown hit, within a hot minute they had arranged an online cocktail delivery service door to door all over Dublin. Impressive given the bar was just starting out and just opened it’s doors in November 2019. We wish them every success for the future and if you are in town for a short weekend, it’s definitely worth a look, especially if you like the newest things in town & some epic Cocktail towers! Pornstar Martini ,Sex on the Beach and Party punch are among their most popular cocktails.

PHONE

0877082848

EMAIL

hello@antisocial.ie

LOCATION

Anti Social
101 Francis Street
Dublin 8, Ireland

HOURS

M-Sa 12–midnight
Su 12 noon–11pm

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