One of my all time favourite pubs in Dublin City centre is on South Anne Street. Kehoes was first licensed in 1803, which makes it one hell of long-standing watering hole. For me its charm is in its complete lack of modernity. You won’t find sleek counter tops, gastro this and gastro that, or a hostess with a clipboard in this bar.
Kehoes is all about pints and people and everyone gets a warm welcome. The clientele is a wonderful mix of locals, after work crowds, tourists and everyone in between. On a sunny afternoon the inside spills outside onto the footpath to the front and the laneway to the side. You would be hard pressed to enter Kehoes and leave without speaking to a few people throughout the night, it’s just that kind of place.
There’s a great little snug where I’ve downed many a pint and set the world to rights in. There’s a long bar, a backroom and great little alcove for that intimate group chat. In the evening you will also get to venture upstairs to what can best be described as a sitting room with people happily drinking in it.
Kehoes is also a winner when it comes to food. No, you won’t find something served up on an old slate, in a tin or on a small piece of board. Kehoes are plate people and their food is simple. Their toasties are the stuff of legends. Ham and cheese melting into fresh toasted bread and served with a sachet of mustard and mayo. The most incredible three course meal I’ve ever had was in Kehoes. A pint, a toastie and a bag of crisps. It literally does not get any better than that.
If you want substance, charm and character over style and sleekness then this is the place for you. Kehoes is like the pub that time has stood still in. It’s a beacon of all things old and splendid and long may it stay preserved in time for generations to come.