Marc and Conor Bereen have just opened Row Wines, a new Natural Wine Bar, Small Plate and Vinyl Listening Experience located in the City Assembly House in Dublin 2.
The dynamic new venture sees the Bereens return to their old stomping ground in the heart of the city, with an exciting new ‘wine, food and vinyl’ offering inspired by the Japanese style listening bars of Tokyo. The innovative new spot is located in the basement of the historic City Assembly House, a beautiful building owned by The Irish Georgian Society, next door to the space that was previously home to the brothers’ iconic and much-loved restaurant, Coppinger Row.
Bereen says he has always been captivated by the natural wine movement, and he spent some time last year learning more about it at places including Paris Bambino, and the legendary Bar Part Time in San Francisco. “The bars I visited were grungier, music played a very big part and they were all serving fantastic plate style food that tasted amazing. They were being run by younger wine fans who were a bit cooler, and I thought that now would be a great time to do something like that in Dublin. We just don’t have wine bars like that here.”
Bereen quickly set about assembling a dynamic team to help bring the concept to Dublin. He recruited sommelier Dáire Ó Lúing as General Manager, with veteran Steve Cahill also involved front of house. “And then in the kitchen we have Paddy Maher, who has been our sous chef in Orwell Road for the past year. We have a really young energetic team, alongside Dan Hannigan and myself. I am definitely the old boy involved!”
Ó Lúing’s inaugural Wine List for Row consists entirely of wines that are either organic, natural, biodynamic, or sustainably made. The gifted sommelier has also created a delicious cocktail list featuring low ABV cocktails and spritzers made using seasonal Irish fruit and shrubs, with vermouth, a Negroni and one or two Irish craft beers also available on tap. This passion for seasonal Irish produce is also evident in the menu, which boasts a rotating selection of delicious small plates and snacks, based on fresh, Irish ingredients. “The aim is to create a really fun, approachable menu using many of the great cheffing techniques we use in our kitchens at Orwell Road and Charlotte Quay.”
Bereen’s longstanding passion for sound also shines through at Row, where the design by Luca Architecture includes a beautiful sound system featuring four large speakers designed by the masterful Toby Hatchett. “I love the idea of Japanese listening bars, where people who like vinyl music can hang out, listen to music, play their own records or listen to DJs.” Well known Dublin based DJ Billy Scurry, previously a chef in Coppinger Row, is curating the music side of the venture, and the idea is that the tunes will move with the evening.
“Row is definitely a Dublin take on the kinds of bars I experienced while travelling last year, so I’m hoping it’s going to be quite fluid,” Bereen concludes. “People can come and check out some gorgeous food and delicious wines, and then later on, it’ll be the kind of pre-club place where you can drop in to have a glass of wine and listen to some really groovy tunes. And obviously we’re blessed with the outdoor area on Coppinger Row, so during any good weather, we’ll have the ability to have 30 to 40 people sitting outside.”
Row Wines, Coppinger Row Dublin 2 serves until 12.30 / 1.00pm Thurs, Fri, and Sat. Walk ins welcome, with some bookings also available on Open Table.