Imagine yourself sitting on a high stool with a pint of excellent Irish beer right in the centre of a church. This can easily happen in Dublin where a historic 17th-century church has been converted into a restaurant and bar. The Parish of St Mary was founded in 1697. Many famous Dubliners were baptized or married here, like famous brewer Arthur Guinness, politician Wolfe Tone and writer Seán O’Casey. Nevertheless, the church was abandoned and vacant before businessman John Keating purchased it and transformed it into a bar.
The solemn spiritual atmosphere is still present in this place. The surrounding galleries are beautiful as back in the old days, however, they host dining tables instead of a choir. The organ, which was played by Handel, is still there too.
The basement of the church had six crypts, but skeletons were removed during the reconstruction. The graveyard by the church is now turned into a park. The grounds include tombs of Mary Mercer, founder of Mercer’s Hospital and Lord Norbury, a famous judge who ordered Robert Emmet to be executed in 1803.
It is a peculiar sight to see a bar in the center of the church. Another interesting fact is that the Jervis shopping center across the road was built on the site of an former hospital. All in all, the entire area that is now known as a shopping district was completely different a few centuries ago. Who knows what changes might come in the nearest future?