We all know the feeling.
Day twenty-something in the lead up to Christmas, you're on yet another festive night out with your school friends/college friends/work colleagues - who can say at this point? It's the time of the year when all groups and social commitments seem to merge into one. Despite feeling like you never have anyone to hang around with any other day of the year, you somehow find yourself in a group of 20, roaming the streets of Dublin looking for a place to accommodate you all for a festive tipple.
While spots like The Long Hall and Kehoes are hard to beat atmosphere-wise, it's highly unlikely you'll find a way to squeeze in with a big crew. It's at this stage you frantically attempt a mental recce of pubs with ample space in Dublin, and curse the fact there isn't a listicle detailing such venues doing the rounds online. That's where we come in.
**Disclaimer: Given the time of year, these bars will naturally be intensely busy too. They just have a bit more space, and more potential for hovering not-so-subtly near a table whose pints are nearly empty, ready to pounce on it as soon as they take up their coats to leave.
Anyway. For your party planning pleasure, here's a round up of 21 Dublin bars with space for groups, both in town and on the outskirts.
In the glory days of 12 pubs outings, countless excursions would dip in and out of bars along Camden Street before concluding the night with a visit to Whelan's, dancing the night away to noughties alt rock on the main space dancefloor or making friends with strangers in the upstairs smoking area. This famous Dublin venue has plenty of nooks and crannies for groups to settle into, with live music and regular silent discos to keep everyone entertained. Find out about organising a booking right here.
Café en Seine
Café en Seine is high on many a girlo's list for Christmas time, with its expansive cocktail menu and roomy Parisian street-inspired seating area/dance floor. It may feel like an obvious shout, but when you're in the throes of a night out looking for somewhere to fit your entire Santa hat-clad group of pals, you'll be glad of it. This landmark Dawson Street spot houses a 50 seater restaurant, roomy bar with space for 200 people as well as their loft, which comfortably fits 90. You can find out more and book in via their website.
The Bar With No Name
Dublin's worst kept secret is an excellent shout for a Christmas night out, with three separate rooms and a huge beer garden protected from the elements by a circus-style canopy that looks great on the 'gram. Pair this with a great cocktail menu and vibe-y tunes, and you've got a great Christmas night out location right in the middle of town. Enquire about a booking via the No Name website.
The downstairs sibling of No Name is L'Gueuleton, a welcoming French bistro with space for walk-ins indoors and amongst its prime people-watching al fresco benches. There's a tasty menu French-ifying great Irish produce if you're looking for food, but L'Gueuleton is also just a great spot to dance the night away after dinner elsewhere - this redbrick gem is bringing you options. Find out more about booking and private party space right here.
Continuing on our tour of Fade Street we have Hogans, a spacious Victorian bar that's no stranger to a festive party or two. Don't get us wrong, it's always going to be busy in the lead up to Christmas - there's just a bit more space inside compared to some surrounding spots and the roominess in no way affects the buzzy atmosphere. An impressive feat, it has to be said. Enquire about booking in right here.
Via Facebook/Hogans Bar.
Located in the middle of Baggot Street, Searsons is always a popular spot for post-work pints and match-watching with plenty of space both inside and out in the form of their heated covered beer garden. A handy option for walk-in or pre-booked affairs - you can nab yourself a reservation right here.
Continuing along the Baggot Mile we have Toners, another go-to spot for group gatherings with a roomy heated outdoor space. Known for pouring one of the best pints in town and having plenty of nooks and crannies to settle into, you can also book a table at Toners for peace of mind before heading out.
At a touch of glam to your Christmas night out by nestling in amidst the maximalist surrounds of House on Leeson Street, the townhouse-turned bar and venue with a vast array of aesthetically delightful seating inside and out. A popular choice for work Christmas parties and gatherings with the girlies™, House's outdoor area was named Outside Space of the Year at this year's Irish Bar Awards so you know it's good. Enquire about booking via the House website.
The Lucky Duck
One of many Dublin pubs named after poultry, The Lucky Duck offers swish art deco style interiors right in the middle of town with plenty of beautifully laid out corners to relax into for the night. The venue has three floors and a tasty cocktail menu, with a selection of Indian tapas on the go if you're peckish. Make a reservation right here.
South Great George's Street
A well-trodden spot for themed brunches and cocktail-fuelled nights out, NoLIta is roomy inside with main bar, whiskey bar, garden and terrace options for you and your pals to spread out in. There's also a hearty Italian menu with vegan options available if you're looking for a bit of soakage. Enquire about group bookings right here.
A failsafe bet for drinks in a relaxed, Lower East Side-style setting. Drury Buildings is always busy but with patience and determination you'll carve out a spot for you and your pals, enabling you to sip away on specialist cocktails and enjoy a plate or two of tapas should the spirit move you. There's walk-in space available, or you can book in here.
Stephen Street Lower
Harken back to the carefree days of 2015, when all you had to worry about was the fate of Bloc Party and making sure your bowler hat didn't slip off. It was in this era P.Mac's thrived, and it's still as glorious as ever with moody candlelight, a stack of board games and free meanies if you time your visit right. Tucked away on Stephen's Street Lower, the town branch of P.Mac's has plenty of space and an extensive craft beer selection waiting inside for you.
Via Facebook/P. Mac's
Grand Canal Street
The Storyteller took over the former Becky Morgans pub at the start of this year, quickly rising in popularity due to its innovative pub grub menu and expertly poured pints of plain. Located on Grand Canal Street within close vicinity of some of Dublin's busiest offices, The Storyteller is an excellent shout for a work Christmas night out and has you covered by way of finger food and private space for parties. You can enquire about booking in right here.
Custom House Quay
One of Dublin's OG breweries located on Custom House Quay, these guys are great for hosting events and brewery tours and have a tasty tapas menu to accompany their array of beers and ales. Their vault space is unique and atmospheric, ideal for a big croup of craft beer lovers in the lead up to Christmas. Info on Christmas bookings is available via their website.
The Back Page
Known for its pizza-and-pint deals and big screens for all your sporting needs, The Back Page has separate party rooms, ping pong tables and, crucially, karaoke, ideal if you're looking for some tension-relieving activities to get the night going. Find out more about what's on offer and get booking right here.
The Bernard Shaw
When the OG Bernard Shaw closed for good in 2019, it left a Big Blue Bus shaped hole in the heart of many a Dubliner. Luckily, it rose like a phoenix from the ashes and established a new home where Glasnevin meets Drumcondra, where it hosts a variety of drag brunches, markets and themed events. The new Bernard Shaw is spacious with loads of different areas, and is the kind of spot you can stay at all night and not get restless. Find out about what's on offer in the Christmas party department right here.
Thought by some to be the home of tHe MoSt CoNsIsTeNt PiNt In dUbLiN, Hynes is more than a failsafe spot for a creamy stout. Known for its grá of gaeilge and regular trad nights, Hynes is a great local haunt with two covered beer gardens and room for all the pals to assemble.
The Glimmer Man
The Stoneybatter appreciation runs deep and it'd be remiss to exclude this no nonsense, cash only stalwart of Dublin 7 with ample space to gather and catch up with your nearest and dearest. The in-house jukebox is on hand to soundtrack your night, and there's plenty of paraphernalia and portraits hanging from the walls and ceiling if you're looking for a good conversation starter.
With its expansive interiors and a satisfying menu of pizzas with names inspired by Dublin landmarks and culture, you can't go wrong with Rascals for a group gathering. Long picnic-style benches mean there's space for the whole crew, and there's a renowned selection of craft beers crying out to be sampled. Enquire about booking in right here.
Those who frequented Copan back in its heyday will know its successor Kodiak has plenty of space for pals to assemble, with warehouse-style interiors and a pizza menu that'll have you jostling comradely for the last slice. A sibling spot of famed pizza slingers Bonobo of Smithfield, Kodiak is the perfect neighbourhood spot for rounding up the troops and reminiscing on the highs and lows of the year gone by. Enquire about booking in right here.
The gem in Rialto's twinkling crown, The Circular is primed for Christmas group gatherings with plenty of big tables, space around the bar and crucially, expertly bubbled Neapolitan pizza from Coke Lane for soakage. If you're in a smaller group, the intimate Other Hand Bar awaits, and of course there's the vibe-y outdoor area out front if that's more your bag. Always a shout if your group hail from Dublin 8 or the surrounding areas.
Did we miss out your go-to spot for a big group gathering? Let us know!
Header image via Instagram / thecirculardublin / thebarwithnoname