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Welcome to a world of travel, entertainment and culture, curated from a global collective of writers, photojournalists and artists. Each article of our award-winning magazine is sure to inspire, no matter which of our destinations you call home.
 
 
The Street
            Back to Open Skies

Travel to Dublin

 
 

Drury Street, Dublin

1 June 2014

Word: Adrian Mourby / Images: Leo Byrne

Drury Street is the focus of the new Dublin – the Dublin that is no longer into conspicuous consumption and fiscal folly – as it was in days of the Celtic Tiger, but the Dublin that is compact, creative and craftsman-like. These days, this narrow city thoroughfare is considered the heart of the new ‘Creative Quarter’. There isn’t a single chain or department store on Drury Street. 

The street was originally laid out in the 18th century as Lower Boat Lane, part of an industrial area south of the River Liffey and east of Dublin Castle. It changed its name in the 19th century, around the time that the splendid George’s Street Arcade – the oldest in Ireland – was built with one of its castellated brick entrances facing onto Drury Street. 

In the 20th century Drury Street was the centre of the rag trade, a place where wholesalers in the garment industry stored their wares. There was also a massive underground whisky warehouse here (now Drury Street Underground Car Park), but it wasn’t until the 21st century that the street became fashionable, as a flood of independent enterprises emerged in this hitherto neglected neighbourhood.

Industry

Beauty, function, quality and uniqueness are the four criteria for Vanessa MacInnes’ new outlet on Drury Lane. Industry began life four years ago in a small shop in Temple Bar dedicated to sourcing unique design items from around the world. In October 2013, Vanessa moved to these bigger premises in the Creative Quarter, and she intends to expand further given the current enthusiasm for modern design in Dublin. 

The stock is extremely varied. There is no single range of items: handmade oak lamps from the Netherlands and candles from France sit alongside notebooks from Germany and men’s skincare products from New Zealand. There are a few excellent Irish products, such as the woollen blankets made in Donegal, but everything is chosen because Vanessa believes in it, not because the shelves need filling. As part of its outreach, Industry recently ran a poster competition open to all the “designers, illustrators and closet creatives” in Ireland. 

41 A/B Drury Street, Dublin
Tel: +353 1 613 9111
industrydesign.ie

Kaph

In July 2013 Drury Street got its first new coffee shop, opened by Christopher Keegan inside what was until recently a fashion showroom for ladies’ clothing. Inside the design is simple, the walls a blank white canvas, the ceilings high and the bar deliberately distressed, giving the impression that Kaph has been here much longer. The well-worn floor of the original dress shop adds to this illusion. 

Upstairs, where there would once have been offices, there’s a quieter area where everyone has their laptops out for the free Wi-Fi. But the recent runaway success of Kaph derives from its strong coffee (brewed using Has Bean blends from the UK) and its famous green tea lattes, which are a craze in Dublin at the moment. 

31 Drury Street, Dublin
Tel: +353 1 123 4567
kaph.ie

Blazing Salads

Lorraine Fitzmaurice is the small, feisty proprietor of Blazing Salads. Brought up on a strictly wholefood diet, she reckons she was something of a rarity in Ireland 30 years ago. In 2000, after leaving her Powerscourt Townhouse location, which up until then had been the trendiest spot in Dublin, Lorraine opened her delicatessen takeaway in Drury Street. 

She was ahead of the trend. Drury Street in 2000 was hardly fashionable. Since arriving on the street, however, Lorraine has written two Blazing Salads cookbooks and charmed the world with her philosophy that food must not be “made with anger”. She tells her staff to leave their anger behind when they come to work. Recently Lorraine’s brother Joe branched out to build a wood-fired oven in the Cloughjordan Eco Village, North Tipperary, where he produces the sourdough, spelt and rye breads sold in Blazing Salads. If you want a healthy lunch in Dublin, this tiny shop is the place to go. 

42 Drury Street, Dublin
Tel: +353 1 671 9552
blazingsalads.com

The Printmakers Gallery

One of the longest established shops on Drury Street, The Printmakers Gallery sells lithographs, woodcuts, screen prints and etchings by nearly 100 artists, the majority of whom are Irish or Ireland-based. It is the fact that prints are a cheaper art form than original oils, pastels and watercolours that has allowed the gallery to survive when other art shops in Dublin went under after the crisis of 2008. 

Prices range from just 150 euros to 1,500 euros. Featured artists include local talents such as Niamh Flanagan, Brian Maguire, Aoife Scottt and Sinead Wall, as well as printmakers who have settled in Ireland, including Yoko Akino from Japan, Tomasz Knapik from Poland, and Katharine Van Uytrecht from South Africa. 

25 Drury Street, Dublin
Tel: +353 1 671 4978 
printmakersgallery.ie

Super Miss Sue

The latest culinary hotspot on Drury Street is the brainchild of John Farrell, a young Irish food entrepreneur who grew up in South Africa and who has made quite an impact in Dublin since his return to the Old Country. Before Super Miss Sue, John created 777, Dublin’s only Mexican dive bar-diner where he paid as much attention to design as to the food. 777’s ceiling was shipped over from a derelict house in the US state of Georgia, and John commissioned the ceramic tiled “prison art” from a factory in Bogota. 

Super Miss Sue by contrast is bright and white and focused on fish and seafood. There’s a chippie, preparing fish in a homemade beer batter and chips to order, an oyster bar and a fish restaurant – all spread over two floors. John named Super Miss Sue after an old fishing boat, but all around the restaurant you can see images of Miss Sue herself; John employed Rozanna Purcell, Miss Universe Ireland 2010, to pose in a bikini as Sue while one of his managers donned a deep-sea diver’s suit, and the result has become the restaurant’s signature artwork. 

Units 2-3 Drury Street Car Park
Drury Street, Dublin
Tel: + 353 1 679 9009
supermissue.com

Drury Buildings

Declan O’Regan is the restaurateur behind the conversion of a derelict office block on Drury Street into one of Dublin’s trendiest places to drink. Declan’s venues are always high on concept, and he is acknowledged as the “secret designer” behind all his clubs and pubs. With his brother, Hugh, Declan started off creating a number of authentic Irish pubs in the now-famous Temple Bar area of Dublin. 

He then branched out on his own, purchasing Hogan’s, a public house on South Great George Street (running parallel with Drury Street) and building a boutique hotel, Kelly’s, above it. Big Dec also created the French-style bistro l’Gueuleton in Fade Street and The Bar With No Name, which can only be located by a large carved wooden snail hanging over the door. For Drury Buildings he imported a container-load of old New York bar fittings, floorboards and church pews to create what he calls a “distressed New York brasserie look”. 

52-55 Drury Street, Dublin
Tel: +353 1 960 2095
drurybuildings.com

Irish Design Shop

Jewellers Clare Grennan and Laura Caffrey took over this dress shop last year and had it redesigned to reflect the products they sell. There are a lot of wooden items, from timber toolboxes made in Connemara to hand-turned “twig pots” made using native hardwoods in Sligo. The shelves in the shop’s window were specially made for Clare and Laura from some of Dublin’s re-claimed original Georgian floorboards. Concentrating exclusively on modern Irish design, the shop sells hand-blown lampshades from Waterford, hand-knitted scarves and hats, design books, Celtic brooches, Irish greeting cards and medallions created using 3D printers. 

Many of the 50 producers design items exclusively for this tiny but influential boutique. On the floor above a number of Irish jewellers – Christina Keogh, Lloyd Breetzke and Pierce Healy – have studios, and their work is available to purchase in the shop. Moreover, at weekends Laura and Clare hold jewellery workshops upstairs, which are particularly popular with couples who sign up to make their own wedding rings. 

41 Drury Street, Dublin
Tel: +353 1 679 8871
irishdesignshop.com

Cocoa Atelier

It was a brave decision by Marc Armand and his Irish wife to open a luxury chocolate shop in 2010, when Ireland’s crisis was at its most painful, but the success of Cocoa Atelier has proved that even in the worst of times Dubliners retain a sweet tooth. Armand is French, but he knew that per head the Irish are the biggest eaters of chocolate in the world after the Swiss. 

Cocoa Atelier’s range of pralines and ganaches use Irish butter and cream and ambitious fillings such as lime rind and freshly grated ginger. All the chocolates are made and decorated by hand in the couple’s chocolate lab, 20 minutes away from Drury Street. Cocoa Atelier also runs pop-ups in a number of Dublin department stores in the run-up to special events such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas, and Armand is in talks to expand to Dubai. 

30 Drury Street, Dublin
Tel: +353 1 675 3616
cocaaatelier.ie

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