Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Destruction of Peters Pub
Peters Pub in Dublin City Centre was an oasis of down to earth normality. Lurking, non-threateningly in the back streets between Georges and Grafton, it's curtained windows gave off a homely, yet sophisticated air where only on a sunny day would you see any custom. Not that there wasn't any on the other 364 days of the year, but on those grey and cold afternoons, these drinkers were tucked cosily behind the net curtains and being kept warm by the balmy flow of soft conversation. Stepping in from a day shopping, you'd be lucky to get a seat at the bar as it was so small, so the best you could get was one of the couches along the left hand side. But it'd do. The old regulars would be perched at the bar anyway. There'd be no music. No Television. No distractions. It was a beautiful place to get very beautifully drunk in.
The other day, myself and two members of the Disgrace appreciation society were keen to refresh ourselves and a suggestion to hit 'Pete's' was motioned. It passed. When we arrived at the door, I was greeted with the sight of a man in 'work garments'. Even though he had a hammer in his hand and pencil behind his ear, I had decided that he was merely an alcoholic carpenter (just like Karen) and went to casually brush him aside.
He didn't have to say anything because I was stopped quite firmly in my tracks. I looked through the window (one of the ones in the picture there) and was greeted with a badly executed Opera of disaster. The bar, which had once oozed with character, was gone and had been replaced with 50's re-model faux wood panels, 'distressed' to look older. The landmark toilet, which had so much wrong with it, that it was just perfect, was gone. A wall, which once separated the pub from the shop next door, was gone. Christ, even the shop next door was gone. And now, the character was also gone.
Disgrace and Co. struck up a conversation with the 'builder' and he promised us that the finished article would be different, that it's merely an 'auld lick of paint'. I shook my head dismissively, as I do with the working class, and turned and headed for Camden Street.
Another bit of Dublin is gone. And, judging by last nights return visit to Peters, so are the regulars.
*Pic from fjp