Those unfamiliar with the history of Drury Street might enter The Rag Trader and wonder ‘what’s with all those trousers and tailor’s tools?‘ The theme of the place – and its name – pays a stylish homage to the area’s historic identity as a hub for textile businesses. The unit itself was once a fabric warehouse and is now a stout and whiskey bar with dim lights and music played at a volume that encourages conversation.
The night we went – a busy Saturday – a Euro 2016 game was playing muted on their screens and was turned off as soon as it finished. Despite being relatively crowded, service was prompt and friendly. Those on the dark side of beer-loving can keep it classic with a pint of the black stuff, or try some craftier names such as Franciscan Well or Killarney Brewing. Ales, IPAs and lagers are also on the list.
Whiskey-wise it gets more interesting with a wide selection of Irish and international bottles. Jameson, Paddy, Writers Tears, Glendalough, Bushmills and Teeling are among the locals while Bulleit and Woodford Reserve are some of the welcomed overseas visitors.
One highlight of the whiskey experience is their Whiskey Trays Menu, which features five different flights of three different spirits each, allowing you to taste and compare. You get four brand-themed trays (Jameson, Powers, Redbreast and Teeling) as well as The Top Shelf which gives you the opportunity to try Redbreast 21, Bushmills 21 and Middleton Very Rare.
The cocktail menu is comprised of only three choices: Old Fashioned, Negroni and Manhattan. The whiskey trays range from €12 to €30 and the cocktails come in at €12.
The Rag Trader also offers a heavily seafood oriented Bar Bites Menu which features oysters, fish goujons, smoked salmon and a sharing platter. Prices range between €6.95 to €14.95 (the platter is €31.95 for two or €49.95 for four). The kitchen closes early so be there before 8:30 pm if you’re arriving with an appetite. Also, all the options in the menu contain fish or seafood (those looking for an alternative bite can request Dakota’s menu, as these bars are connected and, despite offering quite different experiences, it’s possible to walk from one into the other).
The Rag Trader might not sell any cotton or wool anymore and its old-school tailors’ tools might only be for decoration, but their velvety stouts and silky whiskeys are perfectly suited to the Drury Street of today and the place is an excellent canvas for friends and couples looking for an elegant yet relaxed spot to spend an evening.
The Rag Trader,
39 Drury Street
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.