The Palace Bar
Words by Simon Difford on 30-May-2015
21 Fleet Street, Dublin, County Dublin, 2, Ireland (Eire)
Tel: +353 1 671 7388
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Thu 10:30am-11:30pm, Fri-Sat 10:30am-12:30am, Sun 12:30pm-11pm
Door: Open door
Style: Pub traditional
Recommended for: Historic interest
Price guide: Middling
Food: No food
Owned by: Aherne family
Built in 1823, this is one of Dublin's best preserved original Victorian pubs with stained glass windows and a high alter-style mahogany back bar with Romanesque arches rising to the lofty ceiling. A privileged few are invited into the hidden snug at the front. It's an intimate spot that holds five people and Michael Collins is said to have held meetings there during the War of Independence.
During the 1940s, The Palace Bar become internationally famous and a place that attracted intellectuals under the patronage of R.M. (Bertie) Smyllie, then Editor of the Irish Times. The newspaper's offices being less than three minutes away, the pub inevitably become a retreat for journalists to meet. The pub has remained in the same family since 1946 when it was purchased by Bill Aherne for £27,000 and today the Palace is run by Bill's son Liam and his grandson William.
They keep a good pint at The Palace but they are also whiskey aficionados boasting an impressive range of Irish whiskies including the Palace's own excellent 14 year old bottling supplied by the Teeling family. The upstairs Whiskey Lounge often boasts live music but singing in the main bar is frowned upon - this is a place where conversation is encouraged.