With revamp building work now underway at the closed Central Hotel, it’s hard not to get nostalgic and reflect on the good times spent there. From drinking in the Globe, dancing in Rí-Rá, attending private parties upstairs, crate-digging at its record fairs, to simply meeting for a quiet chat in the unpretentious surroundings of its lovely Library Bar, I think we are all going to miss it.
Now seems a good time to share these fashion photos shot at the hotel in 1960.
Taken for a feature in Creation magazine called ‘Dine and Wine in Fashion at the Central Hotel’, the photos show the models wearing clothes from Switzers and Bolgers.
Included in the feature is a short write-up about the hotel.
It tells us, for instance, that the hotel, built in 1887, had an unusual design with its public retail units on the ground floor. In 1960, the hotel was the third-largest in Dublin.
It had one hundred and twenty rooms, served almost two hundred lunches and dinners a day, and catered for twenty-five weddings a week during peak season.
Looking at these old photographs, you can see how little the hotel changed over the last sixty years. However, the imminent refurbishment/reconfiguration of this protected structure will soon change that. And that’s fair enough – the hotel needed modernising and things must move on.
What’s not fair though is the loss of another Dublin dancefloor. With plans for the Globe to be replaced by a retail unit and Rí-Rá nightclub set to become a speakeasy-styled bar, the continuing decline in night-time city centre attractions means younger people may have little to be nostalgic about when recalling their own nightlife memories.
Words: Brian McMahon – Brand New Retro
Photo Credits: All photos by Noel Doyle for Creation magazine 1960.