January 31, 2010
Hunched underneath the Powerscourt Shopping Centre, in the same space where Ba Mizu once stood deathly still, night after night, Pygmalion is the latest in a line of disco bars rearing its head in this fair city of ours. With neither the space of the POD nor the comfort of Grogans this new upstart is a curiosity. Trying to placate the club kids with their thirst for house music (seven nights a week!) yet still pulled by the sluttish purse strings of the rugby set, they have failed (so far) to really satisfy anyone.
For a bar that goes by the nom de plume Pygmalion there’s been very little done to spruce the place up. Like its predecessor it’s a labyrinth of white walled rooms, dark lighting and leather couches. There are a few questionable pieces of art flung up but it’s so sparsely done you’ve got to wonder why they bothered in the first place.
The clientele (pill popping Backlash babies and beer swilling jocks with their perma tanned hags) make for uncomfortable booze buddies, with glances- ranging from irritated to appalled- shot back and forth during the never ending queue for the bar. The staff seem to be having the time of their life, while we waste ours trying to get a pint out of them, which at €5 a pop can hardly be worth it. They either need to hire more staff or adequately train the ones they have to deal with the preening masses.
It’s open late (10pm-3am) Friday’s and Saturdays, but it doesn’t really get going till 12:30. Before this the music is either piped in or bass heavy. But when it kicks off, the back room can be great fun, with the music and the masses reminiscent of Hospital at its height (i.e. in Traffic).
The problem with Pygmalion is that it is still caught between a rock and a crap place. It hasn’t fully shed its gaudy past, or fully embraced its desire to be another Bernard Shaw or a cover-charge-free Kennedys. It ‘ll take more than a lick of paint and word from (closely associated) mouths to help Pygmalion make its mark in a town already crowded with places to go and people to be. Lets hope they can.
Powerscourt Shopping Centre, Dublin 1.
Tel: + 353 (1) 6746712