The Docklands in Dublin

First image...
Our pick for a pint.

Out of the Quay

A Dublin neighborhood’s watershed moment.

Linger over a bottle at Ely Gastro Bar.
The Samuel Beckett Bridge.

By David Farley
Photography by James Fennell

The Docklands is a near-abandoned riverfront warehouse district that started attracting developers in the last decade; soon, restaurants and galleries began popping up. And despite the economic downturn, the Docklands continues to thrive (Google and Facebook located their European headquarters here, and architect Daniel Libeskind designed its Bord Gáis Energy Theatre) as new establishments flick on their lights at a quickening pace. It’s not the Dublin of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, but it’s wild in an entirely different and fun way—a locals’ alternative to touristy Temple Bar.  
Dublin is a legendary drinking city, but its food has always gotten a bad rap. In fact, it’s full of inspired pub menus to go with all that Guinness—in the Docklands, in particular. Ely Gastro Bar (Grand Canal Square; 353-1/633-9986) offers 30-plus craft beers for seared Irish Sea scallops and 16-hour roasted leg of lamb. Next door, Herbstreet (Hanover Quay, Grand Canal Dock; 353-1/675-3875) serves Irish-oak-smoked salmon and a praise-worthy burger at outdoor tables with views of the Grand Canal. Across the river, MV Cill Airne (Quay 16; 353-1/817-8760), a docked boat-cum-restaurant, turns out salads, fish-and-chips, and steak on the upper deck. Set in a restored brick customs house, the Harbour Master (Customs House Dock; 353-1/670-1688) draws crowds for smoked duck breast and pan-fried cod.
You’re never short a pint in the Docklands. One favorite: riverfront Ferryman (35 Sir John Rogerson Quay; 353-1/671-7053), a traditional wood-clad pub where the Guinness seems to taste better than elsewhere. For something more stylish, hit the Rooftop Lounge (Grand Canal Square; 353-1/687-5100) for great cocktails and even better views of Dublin. Feeling wild? Clubby quayside White Horse Inn (1 George’s Quay; 353-1/672-7597) is the spot to drink and dance, or, for a quiet wine and piano bar, try The Green Room Bar (117-126 Upper Sheriff Street; 353-1/894-4888) on the north side of the river.
Minima (Hanover Quay; 353-1/633-7716) sells sleek furniture and household goods. Head to Green on Red Gallery (26 Lombard Street E.; 353-1/671-3414) for contemporary Irish and international artists, or tour working studios in a converted sugar refinery at The Design Tower (Trinity College Centre, Grand Canal Quay; 353-1/677-0107).

Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, July 2013.

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