In this corner of Dublin city, you can expect upmarket venues such as The Merrion Hotel and Michelin starred Patrick Guildbauds but there is a handful of pubs that see hoards of suited and booted business people flock to for their after-work pints.
Sitting right in the heart Merrion Row, Foley’s is a three-story late bar that is a go-to spot for locals in the know. Every Friday and Saturday you’ll find DJ’s playing late into the night for merry revellers. Upstairs, The Loft is a music and arts venue that showcases local and international artists, as well as live bands.
My friend and I were tackling some last minute Christmas shopping and found ourselves in need of a pit stop. Strolling along Merrion Row we took shelter in the warmth of Foley’s. Torn between a glass of vino or something a little richer, barman Ben tells me that they do a great pint of Guinness. So with the “when in Rome” mentality, I ordered myself a pint of the black stuff. For my friend, a G&T was the order of the day. Gun Powder Gin and Franklin & Sons Tonic Water was his preferred tipple, a light, and zesty sip.
Feeling a little peckish we decided to order some grub. Foleys serves up comforting dishes that are made to fill you up and are perfectly enjoyed with a pint. Dishes featured on the menu are, Foley’s seafood chowder with smoked cod, monkfish, haddock and salmon; and pub favourites such as BBQ chicken burgers, wings, and club sandwiches.
Each day they change their ‘Pie of the Day’ offering and today’s option of chicken and mushroom sounded like just the ticket to warm my friend up. Sauteed mushrooms and chicken were bathed in a rich sauce, topped with crisp puff pastry – a complete winter warming dish.
I chose one of the pubs signature dishes, Foley’s Style Chicken (€19.00). A delicious plate of pan-fried lemon and garlic chicken served with roasted carrots, black pepper feta crumble and thyme fondant potato.
Two moist chicken breasts with salty feta was a tasty mouthful of food, and the potato was sinfully buttery. The portions were large, which matched our appetites, so my advice would be to come hungry.
The bar is full of brightly coloured chairs and distressed wooden tables. The vibe is laid back and relaxed, although I’m sure the resident DJ changes this at the weekend. Service came with beaming smiles and was swift, with our drinks and food appearing in record time. If you fancy a decent pint on the Southside of the city, Foley’s will have your pour on your table in no time.
1 Merrion Row
T: +353 01 661 0115
REVIEW BY SINÉAD SMYTH