"Check out who's supped or played here!" Live Music Tip by suvanki

Live Music, Dublin: 27 reviews and 29 photos

  Bruxelles - Where is everybody?
by suvanki
  • Bruxelles - Where is everybody? - Dublin
      Bruxelles - Where is everybody?
    by suvanki
  • Bruxelles - The snug - Dublin
      Bruxelles - The snug
    by suvanki
  • Bruxelles - Dublin
    by suvanki
  • Bruxelles - Philo maquette - Dublin
      Bruxelles - Philo maquette
    by suvanki

Every time I visit Dublin, I visit Harry Street at least once, to 'pay homage' to the statue of Phil Lynott that stands outside Bruxelles bar/Restaurant. I'd hardly given Bruxelles a second glance, judging from the well heeled clientele, that this was a pricey Belgian themed restaurant/bar specialising in Moules and frites and with a selection of Belgian beers.
Hmmmm, how wrong was I! I can't believe that Bruxelles hadn't registered with me as having played such a huge part in the birth of the Irish music scene. To Skid Row, then Thin Lizzy, this became their second home around the late 1960's-early 1970's.

The Zodiac Bar (named because of the astrological tiles in this underground bar), was the 2 roomed bar in the basement of The Grafton Mooney (1886 to 1973), changing its name to Bruxelles in 1974, when Ireland joined the European Economic Community (EEC), whose HQ was in Brussels (Bruxelles).

By 1974, Thin Lizzy had become successful enough to re-locate to further their international career in London, they had made Ireland and Irish music Cool, and in doing so, inspired others to take up their instruments, or have their songs heard.
Rock acts from England, Europe and the USA came to Dublin and played in the basement, which was extended and named Flanders.
There have been some notorious 'jamming sessions' and the list of who's supped or played here reads like a Who's Who from the Rock and Pop artistes of the 20th/21st Century
CLICK HERE for the History of Bruxelles and Who's been spotted here Yes, Bruce Springsteen is one of the many!!!

Our visit was a quick decision, as it was starting to rain quite heavily, we were heading to Bewleys, but Bruxelles was nearer. We thought that it was closed at first as no one was seated outside. Well, it was a Monday, early afternoon.

We ordered a pot of tea and were told that there were seats in 'The Snug' - a small offshoot room at the end of the bar. (Until the 1960's pubs were strictly male only venues, where 'nice ladies didn't venture' The snug was a place where women could sit 'hidden' from view and enjoy a drink in private). The Zodiac bar was quite forward thinking in Ireland, encouraging females to enjoy a drink in comfortable surroundings.

While I was waiting for my tea, I noticed a framed article entitled A Statue for Philo...An interview between the artist Paul Daly and Dermott Hayes I took a photograph, so that I could re-read this later, but there was too much reflection - So this is the link.
The last sentence caught my eye- a bronze maquette of Phil on one of the shelves of the bar???
Well it took me a while to spot it (pic 4) and it's a bit blurred, as there were people drinking at the bar, so I had to snatch a quick shot.

The toilets are downstairs, so I thought that this would be a chance to glimpse the famed basement bar. Nope- the doors were all closed. Well next time I'm in Dublin, I might get to hear some live music.

So, Bruxelles..... The pot of tea was fairly average - Well it was 2 pots of tea - we asked for a pot of tea for two, but were given 2 pots. The female who served us was probably the least friendly and welcoming that we had encountered during our weekend break, and it was quite off putting to have one of the young bar staff, who was obviously trying to look as if he was busy, put his head into our room, every 5 minutes or so, looking to see if he could clear our pots away. I'm afraid there was very little customer service here. Now this doesn't usually bother me too much - being used to indifferent waiters/waitresses/bar staff/ shop staff back home, who see customers as an inconvenience, and anyone over 30 as invisible; but the service we'd had at other bars, cafes etc this weekend had been noticibly good, so this stood out as unusual.

I wasn't sure whether to put this under Restaurant tips, as it wasn't night time, and I didn't actually hear any live music, but it is a pub that can be visited Day and Night (as most pubs/bars in Europe are)

Dress Code: Don't think there was a dress code - at Lunch time, there was a mix of clientele, wearing business attire to casual

Address: 7/8 Harry Street, Dublin 2
Directions: Off Grafton Street
- From St Stephens Green, head up Grafton Street.
On the Left hand side is a flower stall and Boodles shop
This is Harry Street, behind Philos statue is Bruxelles

othercontact: info@bruxelles.ie
Phone: +353 1 6790525
Theme: Eating and Drinking
Website: http://bruxelles.ie

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 11, 2011
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