When I first moved up to Dublin in the summer of 2017, I was staying with my sister in Templeogue. It was a short-lived, two week stay on the couch in her one bedroom apartment but the place really grew on me. We were getting our classic, peak May Summer weather. We knew it wouldn’t last long and we knew we had to make the most of it.
After my first day of trying to navigate my way around Dublin City, I got a text from my sister asking if I wanted to go for a drink near home at 7. Absolutely, I was parched from the heat and even more thirsty from putting miles on myself, walking in the wrong direction somewhere between Wexford Street and Portobello.
“The Morgue?,” she text me. I was like are you well? That sounds like the least exciting place to be in 20 degree heat.
“Well, you pick a place then,” she said. She had me there, I didn’t know any other places.
And unbeknownst to myself at the time, I had passed through The Morgue on several occasions when heading on one of my many adventures on the M50 to the west.
It looked grand from the outside tbh. No great shakes, it never drew my full attention while driving but it gave off that vibe that if you were looking for a pint, it would be do – but it wouldn’t be your first choice.
Situated right beside a bookmakers, the horse racing channel was on in the background. The place looked kind of dark on the inside and the standard high stool set-up at the bar screamed that this was not a place that people came just for the one pint.
We ordered the drinks at the bar and looking around, there was plenty of empty seats and I pointed my finger towards the corner where there was a two-seater.
“We’re going outside, ya dope.” I didn’t know there was an outside to the place. Being honest with you, I wasn’t expecting there to be any sort of exterior to the pub, nevermind such a nice one.
I could understand why there was so much free room inside now, because everyone else was outside. There was no pointing of fingers and deciding where to sit, there was only one table left and if we thought about it for too long, it’d be snapped up.
We were in a two-seater and the sun was beaming down right on top of us. Legs stretched out, t-shirt made sleeveless, if this is what working life is like in Dublin – do a bit during the day, drink a bit in the sun in the evening – I never want to move home.
It was obvious that people had rushed here straight from work because you could see the regret on their faces for not changing out of their suits. Absolutely sweating buckets and that was just the people in the shade. As for us, we lasted about three drinks and tipped on home just as the sun was losing its heat. At one stage, I went to scratch the top of my back only to feel the radiator-type heat which was resting on my neck. I knew I’d be sore in the morning.
It became our regular spot for the brief period that we lived with each other and when our parents came up for a week-long visit in July, even though I was now living down the road in Kimmage, I was now the one sending “The Morgue?” message into the family group chat, getting the same response from my father as I had sent my sister two months previous.
Thankfully, this time we were early and got a bench in the shade. Getting burnt easily runs in the family and if all four of us had sat out in the sun, the photos from our fun weekend in Dublin would look like something from Dougal’s holiday portfolio…
We don’t often get together as much as we’d like to anymore so when we do, we kind of do the dog on it. We were on the benches until 8 or 9 and when the Irish summer chill came our way, we decided to pull plant and head inside.
As you’ll remember me saying above, my first impressions of the inside didn’t set my world but I must say, it was a different sort of vibe in the night time.
We had some grub and refueled for the second part of the night…
And when we came back into the pub part of ‘The Morgue’, and picked out a little snug where the four of us could sit, I knew I had judged the book by the cover too soon.
The Guinness was mighty and the service was even better. The barman came down collecting glasses and started having the craic with us and from then on, every time he spotted empty glasses, he had the next round on.
It was just a nice, quiet area where we got to catch up with each other, a place which would have been impossible to find if we had opted for town instead.
The gloriousness of the outdoor area in The Morgue followed by the comfiness of the inside makes for too easy of a transition between “we’ll go for after work drinks” to “how is it 12am?”
The only thing that’s missing from their ‘beer garden’ is the inclusion of a television. But, I am only saying that because I could imagine myself being here watching the GAA or the Premier League, soaking up the rays and the pints.
However, it would kill the vibe a bit. One of the nice things about the beer garden is that the only noise is the chatter of other conversations. Add a TV into the mix and you’ll have shouting and roaring and talks about Black Cards and dives and I’d probably be one of the main culprits.
And, as summer peeps its head out from under the covers again, I’m looking forward to heading back to The Morgue. I haven’t been there since the end of July but weather permitting, I plan to set up camp there a lot this summer.
Plus, it’s the only time in your life that you’ll be able to say that you had “great craic” in, or was “absolutely pissed” when you left, a Morgue.