During The Easter rising of 1916 Michael Mallin and Countess Markievicz lead The Irish Citizen Army into battle position in St. Stephen’s Green. The British were garrisoned in The Shelbourne hotel and it did not take long for Mallin and co to retreat to The Royal College of Surgeons. This was not before there was a temporary ceasefire called for the park groundsman to go feed the locals ducks. Today people of Dublin and tourists from all over still feed the ancestors of those ducks every day while using St. Stephens green as the meeting point for young couples, groups of friends and commuters disembarking from a passing Luas.
Across the road from that Luas stop, The Well is placed to perfection to greet all of the above as a new social hub day or night.
Located in between TGI Friday’s and the Fitzwilliam hotel on the premises of the old ‘Dandelion’ club The Well invites all the green line tram folk to the outdoor seating area that greets them before the hustle and bustle of Grafton Street. An adjoining coffee shop will be open soon with a separate entrance serving ‘Imbibe’ coffee, kombuchas and kefir.
As I walk through the front door I am immediately impressed by the large artwork that sprayed upon the wall from Dublin graffiti artists Monk Dublin. The lighting is low with many brass fittings that match the overall modern but rustic decor. The large front window beams in a massive amount of day time light and is occupied by two tables both surrounded with colourful couches and chairs and this theme continues throughout the centre section of the bar. The Well is a massive space and is broken up by rather cool brass fence partitions that accommodate high stools that keep with the casual atmosphere. The outer walls are then made up of some larger tables, more high stools and even a more hidden away corner/snug area.
We get stuck straight into the creative cocktail menu which names each drink after a millennial phrase. The ‘Fajazzle’ is a delicious pink mix of vodka, marshmallow, citrus, whites, soda and glitter which leaves the drinker with a rather amusing glittery face if not consumed via a straw. ‘WBD’ (an acronym for something I won’t put in print) is a sweet and very smooth Negroni, swapping out the bitterness of Campari for Aperol. ‘Thirst Trap’ is another easy-drinking gin concoction topped with the pickled ginger you might find beside your wasabi on a sushi plate. For something not the norm ’Get Woke’ is a cold coffee brew containing Absolute vodka and Gut Instinct Kombucha topped with oat milk.
Franciscan Well provides the majority of draught beers including favourites like Chieftain, Rebel Red and new additions like Shandon Stout and Pilgrims Session Pale Ale. The Wine list is curated by James Brookes formerly of Patrick Guillbaud’s and Glover’s Alley and is sourced through Grape Circus, Vinostito and Liberty while wine on tap is provided by wine labs.
The back section of The Well accommodates a more traditional restaurant table layout and Dublin Pizza Company takes the reigns to provide what is arguably the No.1 pizza in town.
Since 2016 Dublin Pizza Company has been generating delicious joy from their take away only Aungier street window. Now The Well provides DPC straight to plate in their 120 seater restaurant.
The bruschetta is advertised as a fire-baked flatbread and the charred crust is just that. Maldon Sea Salt & garlic oil, toons bridge mozzarella, cherry vine tomatoes and rocket create a smoky delight that is torn apart between me and my companion in mere minutes.
We try the famous ‘DPC’ first; Tomato Sauce, Toons Bridge Mozzarella, Dingle Whiskey-Cured Salami, 18 Month Aged Coolea Shavings, Fresh Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Classic and once again quickly vanishing. Our other selection consists of Tomato Sauce, Toons Bridge Mozzarella, ‘Nduja (Spicy Pork Sausage), Mature Cashel Blue Cheese, Red Onion, Fresh Serrano Chilli, Fresh Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. ‘Lucifero packs a delightful bit of heat and just the right amount of blue cheese so as not to be overpowering. New dishes will hit the menu this week exclusively at The Well including salads, salumi, sides and more.
The Well looks to be the next big player in the Dublin late-night scene using a host of Dublin DJs including Willo Healy (Black Wax), Russell Simmons (Hen’s Teeth), Colin Devine and Sally Cinnamon. Expect lots of hip hop, disco and funk into the early hours.
The Well is currently working on a massive basement area with some big ideas for the near future and has played host to events including sustainable fashion and many more exciting upcoming collaborations and celebrations.
130-133 St. Stephen’s Green
WRITTEN BY CHRISTOPHER MELLON, DUBLINSOCIAL