it Bar is the new establishment at the top of New Briggate, having replaced a tapas place that may or may not have ever actually opened. It’s somewhere between a bar, a restaurant, and a café, and seems worlds away from the stereotypical Merrion Street spots nearby. There’s a lovely airy and light atmosphere, and you could come here with your laptop or bring the kids along for a midday meal just as easily as you could be dancing at one of their club nights.
Their website boasts of “a great range of cask ales.” Great range is probably a bit of an exaggeration, as they have a total of three pumps: Worthington’s White Shield, Partners’ Triple Hop and Sharp’s Doom Bar when we visited. Not bad, certainly, but not exactly a real ale haven. Their bottle selection is OK: lots of world beers including Cusqueña, Tsingtao, Singha, Negra Modelo, Budvar and Duvel.
They’re not offering the greatest value — £3.40-£4.50 for the bottles, £3.10 for casks and and in the range of £4 for keg pints (even for Coors light!), but the food did seem more reasonably priced. We didn’t have the food on this trip, but we will definitely be back for it. It looked amazingly indulgent and delightfully American: hot dogs, BBQ, mac’n’cheese, gumbo, fried chicken and giant burgers (including the Double D, which employs a glazed donut in place of your usual bun).
With lunch specials and staying open late throughout the week, it Bar seems to be trying to offer a bit of everything: live music, DJs, dancing, lunch, dinner, dessert, cocktails, coffee, etc. We wish them great success, as it’s nice to have all that on offer in that part of town. For the beer lover, however, it would be hard not to be distracted by North Bar right down the street.