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Tobias Abel
Night owls

19 of the best late bars and clubs around Ireland, as recommended by insiders

‘Where will we go for a late drink?’ We’ve answered the question, with a little help from the people who know best.

WHERE TO HEAD for an after hours tipple or a late night bop? That is the question. 

We decided to hit up some of the country’s top night owls – bartenders, publicans, DJs, club promoters – and ask for their recommendations on where to head for a top night out. 

Colin Perkins, DJ and music booker

The Big Romance on Parnell Street is a great new addition to the city. It’s quite laid back and has an excellent sound system. 

Colin Perkins is the booker and resident DJ at Pygmalion on Dublin’s South William Street.

Malachy Duggan, bar owner

Galway has a long tradition of people dancing in dark rooms. And over the bridge in The West End is where they do it best. After The Blue Note, our punters and grafters head to Massimo and Roisin Dubh and dance until the lights go up and walls come tumbling down.

Malachy Duggan is the owner of The Blue Note in Galway.

Dave Parle, bar owner

L’Gueuleton is a fun late night spot that’s open till 3am, which always has a nice crowd. Tengu and Wigwam, of course. Sin É can sometimes be a bit forgotten about as a late night destination.

Dave Parle is the co-owner of The Big Romance, a vinyl bar on Parnell Street.

Steven Hession, bartender

For me, the best spots to go out in Dublin would be r.i.o.t, Ukiyo, 37 Dawson Street, Hang Dai and The George. These are a range of different places but you’re always guaranteed a great night out in them. Great music, good atmosphere, and the staff make you want to stay and come back time and time again.

Steven Hession is a bartender in 9 Below, a speakeasy bar located in the basement of the Hibernian Club. 

Cormac Cashman, club promoter

SpiceBag, a queer performance night and dance party, is a ton of fun for a drink. Check them out!

Cormac Cashman is the promoter for club nights Mother and Sweatbox as well as the Love Sensation, a forthcoming arts and music festival aimed at the LGBT+ community and allies.

John D’Arcy, venue owner

The Mansion Parties at Rosedale House run by Keith Comerford. A great after hours spot with buses running from the city centre.

John D’Arcy is behind venues like Wah Wah and The South William. 

Sally Cinnamon, DJ

Hang Dai is probably my favourite place to play and to dance as the decor is wicked and the sound system is amazing. The Gold Bar upstairs is amazing and leads to a heated terrace which is cool and allows you to smoke.

I love Bourke’s, too, which is just beside Whelans and part of the complex. You can get a late drink there and they only stock Irish-owned spirits and beers, which is sound. We have an abundance of amazing Irish beverages that I don’t think we celebrate enough.  It’s great to see a bar support it so strongly.

Donal Dineen runs a monthly club night called Backstory. He holds it in Jigsaw just off Mountjoy Square. It’s a dingy run down artist studio and space. I’ve been a few times as a punter and played there recently and it was amazing. The energy is unreal. You bring your own booze, find a spot for it and your coat and get stuck in.  What makes it so great is that as it’s private it makes it feel like an old school club again. People chat and interact more there than you might at a bar or in another venue. There’s a sense that we are all in this together, like a community buzz. I can’t really explain it. It’s definitely my favourite dancing experience in the past few years anyway.

Myself, Kate Brennan Harding and Claire Beck are starting a weekly club night called Lost & Sound in the new venue Lost Lane (formerly Lillie’s Bordello) starting Saturday April 13th. The venue will serve until 3.30am and the sound system is really incredible. It’s a hand built bespoke sound system made by Toby Hatchett. It’s basically already my new favourite late night place and it’s not even open yet!

Sally Cinnamon is a DJ based in Dublin. You can check out her website and Mixcloud here. 

Michael Reidy, bar manager

For solid tunes and bespoke cocktails I go to O’Sho on Barrack Street where there is a real cool and upbeat atmosphere. It also allows customers to bring in Miyazaki takeaway. Miyazaki has recently been awarded a Michelin Star so it’s pretty cool in there. For a late night dance it’s got to be Brick Lane for 2 for 1 cocktails on Sunday night. A social gathering for bar owls.

Michael Reidy works in Crawford & Co in Cork.

More: What’s Brendan Gleeson’s favourite Netflix binge? 14 recommendations from top Irish filmmakers> 

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