Is Workmans in its 'flop era?' - a discussion among Dublin's gen Z

By Fiona Frawley

August 10, 2022 at 5:02pm

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As one Twitter user aptly put it - 'Flop era is the only era in which Workman's has ever existed, it is essential to the experience'.

Sitting proudly on the south quays you'll find the Workmans Club, a spot most Dublin millennials will fondly associate with the 3 Sol for a tenner deal, Sunday night karaoke and a smoking area packed to the rafters with NCAD students on the hunt for a spare rollie. It's the kind of spot you never stop to think about whether you actually enjoy or not - something in your body just seems to take you there at a certain point in every night out. I've spent some truly special evenings on those black and white tiles - Repeal night, graduations, countless birthdays, Workmans housed them all. I'd go as far as saying it's a Dublin institution. However, the generation below me are less enamoured.

A discussion is currently underway on Dublin TikTok, where the generation below mine are pondering: "is Workmans in its flop era?" In a recent video, user @santankatie muses:

Does anyone else feel like workmans club is in a flop era?? Like it's not hitting the same. Something is off. Maybe it's the repainted wall? But it's been downhill since April and idk how to describe it. Pls tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this? 

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The comments beneath suggest that the club has been "gentrified", and one person writes "It’s been downhill since they got rid of Zaconey". A sentiment I'd agree with - the Zaconey and Coke deals were the stuff of legend - however, the same user later added another comment which reads: "This was in 2019 so I’d put money (on) most of the current workman’s crowd not knowing what zaconey is". 

This is similar to the inner dialogue I had with myself after seeing the TikTok. It went a bit like this: "maybe people don't like Workmans anymore because they've gotten rid of X". Then I quickly remember I'm an ageing millennial that most people currently frequenting Workmans would suspect to be an undercover Garda - not cool, not "with it", and definitely not in the know about what does and does not constitute a flop era.

Maybe the reason my generation liked or tolerated Workmans is because we never expected anything huge from it. We knew what we were getting, we took it for what it was - a place for lads in rolled up beanies with mini 'taches and delicate hoop earrings to share Wowburger fries with their friends. A place your DIT class rep marches you to after proudly declaring "I know a cool spot". Who knows, maybe it's time for me to abandon my fondness for drink deals and replace it with a good pair of slippers and a bag of knitting, all the while quietly hoping that Workmans wins its way back into the hearts of the Youth of Today™. Fingers crossed.

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Header image via theworkmansclub.com

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