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chelsea drugstore

The Chelsea Drugstore is Dublin's newest cocktail bar -- and we were the first to check it out

Inside George Street’s newest bar.

12115453_1706214622930421_1365838812265533125_n The Chelsea Drugstore / Facebook The Chelsea Drugstore / Facebook / Facebook

A FEW WEEKS ago, we told you about The Chelsea Drugstore, a new bar opening on Dublin’s George Street.

This evening the bar throws open its doors for the first time. (It’s having a soft launch this weekend, before opening properly in two weeks time.)

So what can Dubliners expect from this new kid on the block? Shane Harte, manager of The Chelsea Drugstore, tells that they’re looking to open a city centre bar with cool vibes and good cocktails.

Instagram photo by Amy O'Connor amyohconnor amyohconnor

The idea behind the bar was that we wanted somewhere on George St that was great for mixed drinks, but was a bar first and foremost. We have a really cool basement, which has really old vibes that reminds me of places like Nightjar in London.
The vibe that we’re going for? Great cocktails at decent, accessible prices, but we still want the vibe to be very cool. The name came from a venue in London called The Chelsea Drugstore open between ’68 and ’72. That mod culture from the 60s and 70s — that’s what we wanted to recreate.

Instagram photo by Amy O'Connor amyohconnor amyohconnor

The original Chelsea Drugstore was featured in You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones, and music is set to play a key role in the bar.

I’ve come up with a playlist myself, which is the most risky thing to do in a bar. During the day, we want to have a lot of British culture — the Stones, The Clash, Bowie, that sort of thing. And in the basement at nighttime, there’ll be disco, soul and funk.

Instagram photo by Amy O'Connor amyohconnor amyohconnor

The bar has two floors — a street-level floor and a basement. There’s cosy couches, armchairs and booths. (We were told that one of the cubbies in the basement would be particularly ideal for a first date.)

Harte describes the cocktail menu as “the most important thing”. The menu is comprised of thirteen cocktails, eleven of which are original creations.

We’re really proud of this menu. They’re quite adult drinks, if that makes sense. We’re using some great spirits.

The cocktails retail for between €11.50 and €12.50, and have names like “Henry’s Elixir” and “Penicillin”.

Instagram photo by Amy O'Connor amyohconnor amyohconnor

Each drink has three adjectives to describe it just to give customers a flavour of what to expect.

For example, Henry’s Elixir is described as “herbaceous, bright and aromatic” while a For Rita is “shaken, boozy and tart”. (Aren’t we all? Ba-dum-tish.)

Instagram photo by Amy O'Connor amyohconnor amyohconnor

Harte acknowledges that there are still some Irish men that have an aversion to cocktails (“The amount of guys who get turned off by glassware!”) or view them as being somehow girly, but he reckons things are changing.

It’s changing and it’s changing really quickly. I think you can tell that judging by the bars that are opening around town. Me and my mates go into The Liquor Rooms or VCC because sometimes we just want a really nice drink. I think people are getting passionate about spirits.

But for those of you who aren’t mad on cocktails, the bar also serves Guinness, Heineken and a selection of craft beers.

Instagram photo by Amy O'Connor amyohconnor amyohconnor

Once it opens properly, the bar will be open from 12pm – 11.30pm on Sunday to Wednesday, while it will stay open until the later time of 2.30am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

A full menu will be introduced in the next fortnight, but for now, customers can snack on things like nachos and garlic bread.

12191450_1705950692956814_5239978536853583739_n The Chelsea Drugstore The Chelsea Drugstore

As we all know, Dubliners are a suspicious bunch when it comes to bars, but the people behind The Chelsea Drugstore are confident that the atmosphere, drinks and friendly staff will see them through.

Fancy checking it out? It’s open now.

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