FOR THOSE OF us who like a pint of the black stuff they don’t come much better than that offered by the Long Hall in Dublin’s city centre.
But you don’t need to take our word for it.
The old school pub is one of two establishments (O’Donoghue’s on Baggot Street being the significant other) that Bruce Springsteen is renowned for frequenting when he finds himself on these shores.
And we could be set to see him again there soon – he’s going to have a night free between his two massive Croke Park gigs this May after all.
Val Burke, manager of the Long Hall, has been there for 38 years, and he’s gotten to know the Boss pretty well during that time. He reckons he knows what brings Bruce to these shores with such frequency.
“When he came in after his gig in 2008 he told me ‘I don’t just come to Dublin for the gigs, I come for the pints in the Long Hall and O’Donoghues’,” he told TheJournal.ie.
He’s a really down-to-earth fella, he’ll just sit there in his baseball cap, drinking Redbreast – that’s his drink, and just mind his own business like any other person.
So there’s a good chance he’ll be paying a visit come May?
“Well he’s been in every time he’s been to Dublin, and we’ve created a bit of a relationship as well. He was in with his two sons last time. He doesn’t have a minder, although he’ll have a fella to pay his bill maybe,” says Val.
There is some fan service here from Val – his relationship with Bruce goes back some 30 years to 1985 when Springsteen first came to Ireland for his record-breaking Slane gig.
“He’s a lovely man, and a real cool dude. Of all the people I’ve met, and I’ve met a lot down the years, he’s probably the coolest,” he says.
I met him in Eurosports gym here on George’s Street in 1985, me and my brother were having a workout, I’ll never forget. There was just the three of us in the gym and we ended up sitting down and having a really amazing chat with him.
Then we were leaving and he was just sitting downstairs with his duffel bag on his lap, waiting on his lift. Then he hopped in his van and away he went.
Bruce is renowned for taking to local gyms on his mammoth tours – you have to be a fit man to play a nigh-on four-hour set after all, let alone when you’re 67 years old.
“I put my arm around him in that photo, and you could just tell he’s a fit, fit man,” says Val.
The staff at the Long Hall are all Bruce fans it seems, while owner Marcus Houlihan “goes to all his gigs” according to Val.
He himself is hoping to go in May, though he hasn’t managed to snag a ticket yet for the sold-out shows.
“I’ll go to the gig alright, if I can get a ticket,” he says.
He does have a bit of an advantage though.
Bruce actually brought us to the gig the last couple of times.
Not a bad job-perk really.