I’m outside catching some air when a young man wielding a rolled-up magazine approaches me. His tone is urgent. “See this place here?” he says, while vigorously shaking his magazine. “This place used to be an unbelievable shithole.”
He is referring to The Fourth Corner, a new boozer located at the corner of Patrick Street and Kevin Street. There has been a pub on the site since the beginning of the last century through several incarnations – P. Kenna’s, Kiernan’s, Cahill’s, Hamilton’s, Quinn’s.
Most recently it operated as Nash’s but the space has been vacant for many years, a surprise given the high footfall in the area.
It is now under the stewardship of the gang behind Bedlam Events and aiming to become a neighbourhood local of sorts. At first glance, the bar is appealing. Much of the interior has been kept the same save for a lick of charcoal paint and the installation of globular light fixtures.
On the way to the bathroom, there’s a giant neon sign asking, ‘Where are your friends tonight?’
A little melancholy for the jacks, sure, but it does seem destined to be plastered all over your Instagram feed in due course.
Less successful is a Street Fighter II game plonked thoughtlessly in the corner, a rather half-arsed attempt to cash in on nostalgia.
Drinks-wise, they have all your usuals as well as a small cocktail menu. Each drink is named after the pubs that used to occupy the Four Corners of Hell in The Liberties, the junction from where the pub gets its name. I order a Lowe’s, which is essentially a margarita made with raspberry syrup. For €10 it’s not half bad, although I stick to the pints after.
Later in the evening, I ask the barman if they have crisps as I am famished. There are none to be got, but he informs me that the pub will soon start serving pizza from nearby Dublin Pizza Company, which ought to be a fruitful partnership.
While The Fourth Corner has promise, there are a few kinks that need to be ironed out. For one thing, it’s bright to the point where I’m paranoid about my companions noticing my eye bags. Despite boasting a neon homage to LCD Soundsystem, nobody seems to have sat down and really thought about the music. All evening, we’re treated to an unimaginative mix of noughties indie anthems and by the time we get to our second play of Foals’ My Number, it was evident they were working from a limited Spotify playlist. Think Whelan’s on autopilot.
These are things that can be easily rectified, and will need to be if they want to hold a candle to the old locals memorialised on their cocktail menu, or Fallon’s across the road. For now, I assure my magazine-wielding acquaintance that the place is far from a shithole. Just a work-in-progress.