We wanted to dine at an authentic local pub and we passed Murray’s Bar & Grill on our way back from exploring Grafton Street, so we made plans to come back after our sorely needed naps. From the outside, it looked to be the perfect balance between sketchy and uptown.
In 1908, Grandma Murray opened Murray’s Pub at 33 Upper O’Connell Street.
When we arrived, the host informed us that they had a live show that night with a local band and, later on, traditional Irish dancers, but in order to get a table in the show-area seating we had to commit to at least two courses (either apps + main or main + dessert). The prices were pretty average for casual dining so we readily agreed and snagged the last table!
Murray’s Bar hosts live traditional Irish music every night of the week and Irish dance shows every weekend, with lots of audience participation.
I ordered a Kopparberg cider but I didn’t really care for the pear flavor (I’d had a strawberry lime at The Mitre a few weeks before).They served plenty of other international alcohols that Americans might be more familiar with like Corona and Heineken but I wanted to sample what I couldn’t get at home.
I decided to get the beef & Guinness pie with a side of carrots & potatoes because I couldn’t come to Dublin and not have Guinness, but I certainly wasn’t going to straight up drink the foul-wheat-smelling stuff. It was probably the most delicious meal I’ve ever had. At the very least in my top five. Hannah agreed it was her favorite of the entire trip.
I had Bailey’s cheesecake with strawberry ice cream for dessert. I prefer to eat my alcohol!
By the time we got our main courses, a live Irish pub band had taken the stage. The musicians were also comedians, which I assume is the convention. They made clapping into a game and it generally was really interactive. They played “Molly Malone,” “Tell Me Ma” (which got faster as it went, be still my heart), “Whiskey in the Jar,” and “The Galway Girl” (if you’re a fan of P.S. I Love You like I am than this is for you!).
I hadn’t even realized I knew so many Irish folk songs or that they even were Irish folk songs. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in any sort of pub or bar and definitely the best band I’ve ever seen in the sense that I actually got hyped. I’m probably biased because of the alcohol and the atmosphere, but I don’t care.
The traditional Irish dancers came out after that, which was a real treat since it’s so particular to Ireland’s culture. It was a festive blend of ballet and tap and magic. Granted, it’s not Riverdance, but it’s a great way to experience Irish culture for the price of dinner. Pretty sure I’m going to enroll PJ in the local Irish dance school–there’s one in Norcross!