Bia Bar

January 30, 2010


I like the Bia Bar. I don’t know many people who don’t. It’s managed to become a staple of Irish nightlife without disappearing up its own hole maintaining a decent reputation. Situated between two of the seven portals of social hell (the Capitol and Break For The Border) it’s the perfect place to start an evening before descending into the usual squabbles over where to go next. The crowd is largely unpretentious and a little less excitable than their fresh-faced counterparts and the staff is efficient, unassuming and thankfully free of attitude that has soured many a similar venue.

It gets rammed at the weekend but during the week it empties out. That’s not to say it’s dead. Its cushy chairs make it the perfect place to curl up with a book and watch the world bustle by. It also has free Internet connection which makes it a favorite with Dublin’s cost cutting movers and shakers, who like to be seen and heard going about their business.

It serves food seven nights a week and, for this city, is reasonably priced. Two cocktails and two pizzas will set you back €30(if ordered between the hours of three and ten) and its choice menu has pretty much everything else covered for no more than €4.50 for lite bites (Delicious chicken wings. soup of the day, garlic bread) or €12.50 for a main (pastas, prawns, burgers and pies). There are also a number of sides (chips, veg, salad) or deserts (apple or berry crumble, chocolate cake) for €3.90.

The decor is womb like with plush purples and reds offsetting the smooth vanishings, with the large bay windows at the front giving way to a deep alcove at the side and a heightened platform at the back.

Its eclectic music policy was leading the way way back when the Sth William was still up to mischief. Every Friday, from 8pm till its late close Mark and Aiden Kelly host the Stephens Street Social Club playing a mix of raucous funk, soul and a classic or two. Saturday’s Sidesteppin fits a similar oeuvre, if with a slightly more reggae-cum-hip-hop bent, while the last Sunday of every month see’s French Friday (on Sunday) a homage of all things Gallic.

Bia Bar gives me little cause to grumble. Any concerns that it’s to cool for school are dismissed on entry and, while it’s light on the surprises, it achieves with little effort where so many others have failed.

Monday – Wednesday            11am until 11.30pm

Thursday – Saturday            11am until 2.30am

Sunday-                  12am until 11pm

FOOD TIMES

Monday – Friday            12pm until 9.30pm

Saturday            1pm until 9pm

Sunday                 1pm until 9pm

Bia Bar,

Lower Stephens Street

Dublin 2

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