Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a city rich in history, culture and creativity. Not only in its museums and parks, but also in its restaurants and bars, we find a tapestry of surprising stories. In this article, we invite you to embark on a unique journey through 12 places in Dublin that, at some point, had completely different purposes. Prepare to be enchanted by the versatility and creativity that make Dublin such a special destination for the Brazilian community living in Ireland.
1. MV Cill Airne: A Gastronomic Journey on a Renovated Ship
We begin our gastronomic journey aboard the MV Cill Airne, a meticulously renovated training ship. Imagine sailing the waters of Dublin while savoring modern European cuisine, or enjoying a waterfront drink in the maritime-style bar with deck seating. This place, which once trained sailors, now trains palates, providing a unique experience.
2. Hawksmoor: From National Bank to Luxurious Restaurant
Hawksmoor, one of the city’s hottest restaurants, has an intriguing history. Before it was a destination for lovers of haute cuisine, it was the National Bank. Did you know that, some time ago, this same location was home to the famous American clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch? The transformation of this space is a fascinating example of how Dublin reinvents itself.
3. Hanks: From Gas Station to Dog-Friendly Cafe
On our itinerary, we found Hanks, a place that used to be a simple gas station. Today, it has become a welcoming, dog-friendly cafe, serving sandwiches during the day and delicious pizzas at night. Furthermore, it offers ample space to socialize with friends and a generous shaded area, ideal for sunny days.
4. Good Vibrations: The Colorful Café in the Old Wagon
Have you ever imagined that a cart could be transformed into a vibrant and colorful cafe? Good Vibrations, located next to King’s Inns, proves that creativity has no limits. With a few dabs of paint and a lot of work, this old wagon became a charming place. If you’re a fan of the “dark academia” aesthetic popularized by TikTok, this is the perfect setting to live out that fantasy while enjoying a coffee.
5. Churchtown Stores: From Hardware Store to Cozy Bar and Restaurant
In Churchtown, we found a location that used to be a hardware store until January 2018. Open since 1987, it was the locals’ meeting place for their tool and material needs. However, after its closure and sale, the place re-emerged as a cozy bar and restaurant, maintaining the tradition of customer service. Now, instead of paints and drills, cold beers and delicious dishes are served. A highlight is Jack Rabbit, which provides the Churchtown Stores menu, with a highlight being its irresistible coconut curry fries.
6. The Church Bar and Restaurant: From 17th Century Church to Relaxed Space
Dublin’s history is rich in religious architecture, and The Church Bar and Restaurant is a fascinating example of this. This 17th-century church, St. Mary’s, on Mary’s Street, closed its doors in 1964 and was acquired in 1997. Transformed into a restaurant and bar called John M. Keating’s in 2005, it was named The Church Bar and Restaurant in 2007. Even after renovation, the place maintains its church-like aesthetic, making it a popular hangout for cocktails and good food. With indoor and outdoor areas, it is a welcoming place that invites everyone to enjoy its unique atmosphere.
7. The Bank Bar and Restaurant: The Old Bank Serving Delicious Pub Dishes
In College Green, we found The Bank Bar and Restaurant, which was once a bank. Purchased by the Belfast bank in 1892, it became The Bank Bar and Restaurant more than a century later, in 2003. The main dining area used to be the bank hall, and it still maintains this impressive look. Today, The Bank serves a range of delicious pub food, including juicy burgers, fresh salads and mouth-watering fish dishes. Not only will you enjoy a tasty meal, but you will also delve into the history of this iconic location.
8. La Peniche: The Romantic Restaurant on an Old Boat
La Peniche, which means “The Boat” in French, offers a truly unique experience. This floating restaurant used to be known as MV Riasc and transported people across the canal until the 1960s. Today, it is anchored near Mespil Road and serves fine French cuisine and a selection of fine wines. If you are looking for a romantic dinner in an unusual setting, this is the perfect place. Perhaps the inspiration for a romantic scenario came from the film “Operation Cupid,” in which the parents of the protagonist twins get married on a yacht.
9. The Perch: Do Kiosk at Cafeteria com Estilo Art Deco
Located on Leeson Street, The Perch is an architectural gem with a multifaceted history. Initially, it was a modest kiosk. However, before its current transformation, it had already been a tea house and, even more surprisingly, a water pressure station. Since opening in 1929, The Perch has undergone several metamorphoses, but has always maintained an art deco aesthetic as a tribute to its roots. If you’re looking for a place to recharge your batteries or just a sweet treat to enjoy, The Perch is the right choice.
10. Happy Out: The Café in the Old Transport Unit
On Bull Island we found Happy Out, a charming cafe situated in an old transport unit. It’s not uncommon to find cafes and restaurants converted from shipping containers, but Happy Out is special. Specializing in coffee, sandwiches and brunch, it’s the perfect place to relax after a long walk on the beach. Enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a fresh sandwich while taking in the stunning views of the Irish coastline.
11. Old Music Shop Restaurant: From Music School to Delicious Afternoon Tea
In Parnell Square, we find an iconic location that was home to Ireland’s first music school. Founded in 1924 as Walton’s Music, the school dedicated itself to music for an incredible 80 years before closing in 2013. Today, the Old Music Shop Restaurant offers a delicious afternoon tea, keeping the city’s musical tradition alive. It is a venue that celebrates Ireland’s musical legacy, allowing visitors to enjoy a meal accompanied by classical music and historic charm.
12. The Market Bar: From Sausage Factory to Popular Tapas Bar
Finally, we arrive at The Market Bar, one of Dublin’s most popular spots for those looking for high-quality tapas and live entertainment. What is now a bustling destination for food lovers used to be a sausage factory, and before that, a slaughterhouse. The transformation of this space is a true testament to the creativity and passion for food that characterize Dublin. The Market Bar offers a wide range of tapas dishes, from spicy patatas bravas to delicious croquetas, all served in a lively atmosphere with live music. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a vibrant night out in Dublin.
By exploring these 12 incredible places in Dublin that once had completely different purposes, we delve into the rich tapestry of stories and transformations that make this city unique. Dublin is an inexhaustible source of creativity and reinvention, where the past merges harmoniously with the present. If you are in Dublin or planning to visit this charming city, don’t miss the opportunity to explore these fascinating places. Each of them offers a unique experience that combines history, architecture, gastronomy and culture, providing a truly special insight into this captivating city. No matter how many times you visit Dublin, there will always be something new and surprising to discover. So make the most of your journey through the city and delve into the richness of its heritage and creativity.