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William Barry: The TapHouse Bar and Kitchen

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

The art (or craft) of being a successful publican is hard won, very few can actually take a space and fill it with the people, staff and atmosphere to make that space worthy of being described as a “great pub’.  20% of pubs in Ireland today are leased for less than three years, the pub trade is a constantly revolving door through which newcomers frequently enter and exit.

The Taphouse in Ranelagh is an example of what a pub must be to survive as a business for the coming years. It’s in the middle of Ranelagh, which has more than its fair share of great pubs and and places to eat. If you’re not on top of your game in Ranelagh you won’t last long because the competition is intense and I’m confident the commercial rents and rates are equally fierce. It has a clear idea of its own identity, it’s got an excellent craft beer on draft offering without alienating the Guinness and Heineken drinkers and there is a focus on food and beer matching.

The Taphouse is first and foremost a drinking house, it’s a place for people looking for something stronger than a glass of milk but with menu options such 28 day dry aged Irish beef sliders and beetroot and buffalo mozzarella salad. It’s a huge leap forward on what’s prevalent in most pubs, there is fish and chips, but its better class of fish and chips.

This all doesn’t happen by accident; in fact the owner, Dubliner David Kelly does very little by accident. Mr Kelly is a publican and businessman, he loves food and drink and people, three qualities that are a pre-requisite to be a good publican (and restaurateur), but he also understands margins; he can read trends and he makes things happen, requisites to being a good businessman. His background is a marketer, a background shared with many of the leading lights of Irelands new businesses, he was marketing manager for Guinness for over a decade before heading Stateside and building a group of twelve Irish bar/restaurants with a focus on quality food and entertainment.  

Now he is back home and is one of a new breed of publicans shaping what pubs will be into the future, these crafty operators will need to be good at delivering crafted drinks and quality food because the bar is rising and its rising fast. 

http://taphouse.ie  Taphouse Bar and Kitchen, 60 Ranelagh, Co. Dublin  (01) 491 3436

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