The Belfry reopened last December at 37 Stoneybatter after being closed for a long time. For its makeover, the venue swapped its washed down blue and red façade for an all-black front, a sleek introduction to an inviting bar with interiors that could be described as “modern cosy.”
In an an area with stiff competition, you really need more than ornate walls, hipster lightning and neo-traditional furniture to thrive and fortunately, at the new look Belfry the go beyond that and offer that warm and friendly atmosphere that ultimately is an Irish pub’s great strength.
I visited it on a unfairly cold Monday evening last March (Beast from the East flashback, right?) and walked past the wooden chairs at the front to find the good stuff: plush leather sofas at the back, in a privileged happy medium between privacy and liveliness, and ideal for relaxing with a drink. Thanks to the way the space is distributed at the bar, there’s a main open area and a couple of more intimate corners so you can choose your own adventure.
Drinks-wise, the beer selection includes an assortment of big and small breweries and they take great pride in pouring a fine pint. A small but considerate and reasonably priced wine list featured five reds and four whites by the glass, mixing several of the most popular regions and grapes.
A solid spirit selection with an emphasis on whiskey and gin but with its fair share of rums, vodkas and other potions was really the bar’s centerpiece.
The manager explained that they will be introducing a cocktail menu very soon (by the time you read this in April it should be up and running) but in the mean time, my guest and I decided to keep it simple. I went for a G&T made with Dingle Gin (€8.10) and he chose a Jameson and ginger ale (€7.10).
While quite enjoyable as it was, I’ve reasons to come back once it gets (at least marginally) sunnier: they’re about to launch a food menu and a terrace area with a canopy that can be uncovered should the weather allow it. There’s also a food truck in the plans.
With soothing jazzy pop music playing at a mellow volume, candles illuminating the tables and other touches that show the team’s attention to detail, and last but not least, very reasonable prices, it’s no wonder the place was alive with the chatter of friends, despite the cold and the Mondayness of the evening.
My only regret is that I didn’t get to see the food truck in action, but the silver lining is that I have a strong argument to come back. Stoneybatter might not be on my usual route, but I’d happily take a detour to visit this place again.
The bill at The Belfry, including a Gin & Tonic and a Jameson with ginger ale arrived at €15.20.
The Belfry Stoneybatter
56-57 Clanbrassil Street Lower, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8
T: (01) 598 4633
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.