Corrigan’s Mount Pleasant Inn keeps a low profile. Tucked away on Mountpleasant Avenue, nestled discretely between the major thoroughfares of Ranelagh and Rathmines, It’s not the sort of spot you’re likely to stumble across by chance. On arrival, my nostrils flared as the unmistakable odour of a true old man pub, all wet wool and smoke. Some take exception to these aromas; I choose to view them more as an emblem of sophistication, a soothing, nasally-administered, hallmark of life experience. The bouquet speaks volumes; Corrigan’s knows what it likes and it’s sticking to it.
Emblematic of this congenial traditionalism is one of Corrigan’s most remarkable, wholly archaic and wonderful traits: its dedication to the idea of the “-lic house” that once followed the “Pub”. It plainly prides itself on being a place for one to feel at home as opposed to on show. A third space as suitable for sitting alone watching 1950s, black and white sci-fi classic, The Day The Earth Stood still (just as the lone gentleman across from me at the bar is doing) as it is for socialising.
We order a pair of Guinness (€4.50 and exemplary) and go about selecting our booth from the slew of vacancies surrounding the lounge. As we settle in, we’re treated to snippets of adjacent conversation drifting our way. These tidbits emanating from pairs of men, uniformly of vintages leaning more towards the top shelf. Each half overheard exchange eliciting a feeling akin to being party to a series of (uncharacteristically welcome and enjoyable) Roddy Doyle Facebook posts unfurling in real time. The lilting hum of conversation is punctuated by an occasional crash and subsequent uproarious laughter as a bunch of regulars enjoy a game of “Jango or Jenga or whatever you call it” in the bar.
Just because Corrigan’s is a pub of an established type needn’t mean it’s devoid of peculiar character of its own. Some of its quirks are practical and welcome: you can order Thai dishes and snacks, delivered from Camile, at the bar. Other idiosyncrasies are more bizarre though equally appreciated: The smoking area is decorated with murals depicting Homer Simpson, Moe, Mr. Burns and, most inexplicably, a Simpsonized caricature of horse-racing pundit and ogre, John McCririck. Ultimately, even with this anomalistic flair, Corrigan’s seems commendably comfortable, even proud, of its old fashioned approach. If it’s a quiet one you’re after, you could do much, much worse.
Corrigan’s Mount Pleasant Inn
27 Mountpleasant Ave Lower, Dublin 6
Words: Danny Wilson
Photos: Killian Broderick