This could be heaven or this could be hell. A former church, now a monument to drinking – I could only be in Ireland.
Blame it on the alcohol or call it a spiritual experience; either way, I had never felt closer to God than when I downed a few pints of Guinness at Dublin’s world-famous Church bar, restaurant and cafe.
The former St Mary’s Church of Ireland makes for an ideal public house. Inside, it’s warm and cosy – a lofty ceiling gives it a feeling of space, the shiny wood panelling and stained glass windows lend it a sense of decorum. The holy man is the one behind the bar, serving drinks to saints and sinners alike.
Outside, the church looks, well, like an old church. St Mary’s closed down in 1964 and lay derelict for a number of years before it was purchased in 1997. It was opened once again in 2005 as John M Keating’s Bar before finally becoming The Church in 2007.
Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift attended services here. Methodist Church founder John Wesley delivered his first Irish sermon here in 1747 and, best of all, Guinness Brewery founder Arthur Guinness was married here in 1761.
How cool is that? You can enjoy a pint of Guinness not only in the town it was created but in the church its creator was married in!
According to The Church website, the Irish minister for arts, heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands classified the building as one of historical interest.
Well, this avid traveller hereby declares it one of interest for anyone looking for a great place to eat, drink and be generally pretty merry indeed. If going to church is usually this much fun then I’d be willing to convert.
You’ll find The Church at the junction of Mary and Jervis Street in central Dublin.