There's A New Bar Opening Tonight Where Solas Used To Be – And We Took A Look Inside

By aidan

December 20, 2016 at 12:10am

There's A New Bar Opening Tonight Where Solas Used To Be – And We Took A Look Inside

Let's get one thing out of the way: no, The Jar will not serve drinks in jam jars.

Despite being owned and run by the same crew behind The Bath – which was largely responsible for introducing that fad to the Irish drinks market, before it became the most clichéd and infuriating thing of all time – the team here will be serving in good old-fashioned glasses and bottles, thank you very much.

The pub is due to open tonight, so we popped in today for a quick look – and while it may be all plastic sheets and dust covers right now (they've got an interesting few hours ahead), it's looking pretty slick.

The main bar area looks almost the same as it did before, albeit with more compact and open seating arrangements – meaning the venue should be less of a squeeze at busy times.

On tap, you've got your Guinnesses, Heinekens and the usual suspects – along with a pretty decent craft selection (O'Hara's, et al) on draught and a more diverse and rotating selection by the bottle.

Carrying on the legacy of Solas, there's also a pretty decent-looking cocktail menu. Have to say, I'm somewhat intrigued by Maple Ol' Fella – featuring "Bourbon, orange bitters, angostura bitters and maple syrup. Stirred until perfectly blended and served in a rocks glass with orange zest and cherry."

Okie doke.

And when it comes to food, there's even better news.

Base Woodfire Pizza – arguably the best pizza in town, if we're honest – will provide the grub from a woodfired oven on the first floor, bringing some serious game to an underserved part of town where cheesy goodness has been concerned.

Upstairs, meanwhile, is where the real transformation has taken place – and looks to provide the place with a real unique selling point, with a smoking area/terrace that looks set to become one of the deadliest in this part of town.

The actual roof, we're told, is retractable and is currently en route from Italy... but hey, if it never arrives, the wood-and-plastic look is so hot right now.

There's also this seat out the front, which is primed to become a seriously enviable people-watching spot for those lucky enough to nab it...

Head up another floor and you arrive in the private hire spot (which, presumably, will be open to the public when not booked).

It's intimate enough, with astroturf flooring and a white-tile bar – but better again it overlooks the terrace, meaning you'll have your own private space while still enjoying the atmosphere and the buzz from the crowd below.

Let's hope the ventilation is pretty good, mind you...

Regulars of Solas – not that there were many by the end – will also remember an upstairs room near the unisex toilet that was permanently unused. That's been converted into a much-needed ladies' toilet, with one cubicle in particular that caught our attention...

The window will be frosted, they tell us...

Music will be provided at the weekends by Jamie Byrne – known to Sam's Bar regulars as the guy who "plays B.I.G. one minute, the Marseillaise the next, and then follows it up with Yellow Submarine" – so we should be hearing a fairly reliable mix of classics and contemporaries.


There's a helluva lot of work to be done on this spot before it has a 'soft opening' tonight, and then faces into its first weekend of madness – followed by the even more hectic festive season. But it looks slick, it's been well thought out, and it'll definitely be worth popping into over the course of the weekend.


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