T+L Reports: Dublin's New Neighborhood
Published: May 2009
Dubliners have traditionally considered their city's inner north side insalubrious—and best avoided. A host of just-opened bars and clubs, however, have recently transformed the gritty north bank into the perfect antidote to touristy Temple Bar. Inveterate Southsiders are crossing the Millennium Bridge to sample Italian wines, cheeses, and imported meats at Enoteca delle Langhe (Bloom's Lane; 353-1/888-0834; snacks for two $53), a small, no-frills café-bar with wooden tables and stools and a buzzing vibe. • Gin Palace (42 Middle Abbey St.; 353-1/874-8881) is done in a Victorian style (window etchings, mosaic floors) and serves strong stout and cheap gin. • In-the-know locals spend late nights at Traffic (54 Middle Abbey St.; 353-1/873-4800; www.traffic54.net), which has Vegas-inspired leather booths and chandeliers, an intimate VIP lounge, and, on weekends, techno dancing in the basement. • Spirit (57 Middle Abbey St.; 353-1/877-9999; www.spiritdublin.com) has themed Body and Soul dance floors—house music on the former, R&B on the latter—and an ambient chill-out level dubbed Mind, where holistic hell-raisers can get massages and tarot-card readings. • A jazz and live band venue, the Boom Boom Room (Patrick Conway's, 70 Parnell St.; 353-86/158-5505; www.theboomboomroom.tv) is the place to catch edgy Irish bands on the rise. • And at Grand Central (10-11 O'Connell St.; 353-1/872-8658), a converted Baroque bank with a domed foyer and the original steel vault doors, a DJ spins classic disco tunes.