Beloved of Leopold Bloom, of students and politicians and other such chancers, of business types, artists and highfalutin ladies, Davy Byrne’s pub on South William Street was founded by a Wicklow man of the same name and first opened to the public in 1889. During its long history it has hosted numerous famous imbibers including the guerrilla leader Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, the pro-monarchy founder of Sinn Féin, who met there frequently, as did the provisional cabinet.
Strictly speaking, the name over the door, writ large in neat, flowing script, should read Davy Byrne’s, given that it was the premises of Mr Byrne, and not one of a pair. But as the apostrophe was absent from Ulysses, subsequent custodians thought better of correcting Joyce.
The ground floor bar is a classic of understated Art Deco beauty, and the place is a go-to destination every June 16th. Bloom would surely be happy, on his or any other day, munching away on his Gorgonzola sandwich washed down with a glass of burgundy.
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