Best time to visit Dublin

The Church Bar in Dublin

The most unusual bar in the Irish capital

Best time: all year round

The Church Bar
The Church Bar
The Church Bar
The Church Bar
The Church Bar

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?

Practical info

Where can The Church Bar be found?

The Church Bar is located in Dublin, Ireland on Jervis St, Arran Quay at Dublin 7, D07 RWC1. The bar's central location makes it easy to access by foot or public transportation. It is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, offering a unique blend of historical and modern culture. Show more

What year was the Parish of St Mary founded?

In 1697, the Parish of St Mary was established. As a crucial hometown site for many famous Dublin natives, it played a significant role in its citizens' weddings and baptisms. Although abandoned and vacant for a while, it was eventually acquired by John Keating and transformed into a well-known bar and restaurant. Show more

Who were some of the famous people baptized or married in St Mary's church of Dublin?

Numerous Dublin celebrities, including Arthur Guinness, Seán O’Casey, and Wolfe Tone, were either married or baptized inside the Parish of St Mary. Owning to its popularity and importance in Irish history, the well-known building has acquired considerable cultural and historical significance. Show more

Are there any of the original crypts or skeletons in The Church Bar?

The Church Bar has undergone multiple modifications, resulting in the removal of skeletons that were initially present in the six crypts built within the church's basement. Nowadays, crypts are renovated seating spaces that add to the establishment's curious atmosphere and draw visitors from across the world. Show more

What other historical features are present near The Church Bar?

A former hospital site is replaced by the Jervis shopping center across the road from The Church Bar. Moreover, the area has a graveyard containing numerous important personalities, including Mary Mercer, founder of Mercer's Hospital, and Lord Norbury, a renowned judge who presided over Robert Emmet's trial in 1803. The region's rich history and culture offer an exceptional experience for visitors and locals. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin