Set to open on Good Friday, 19th April, Bar 1661 is the newest cocktail bar in Ireland, situated at 1-5 Green St, off Capel St.
The bar aims to specialise in cocktails with a particular focus on Irish spirits, and is named after the year Poitín was banned in Ireland.
One of the city’s few independently owned and operated cocktail bars, Bar 1661 is founded by native Dubliner Dave Mulligan, who has over 20 years’ experience working in the service and drinks industry internationally. In 2011, Mulligan joined London’s cocktail scene where his attentions were drawn to Ireland’s native underground spirit. He opened the world’s first poitín focused venue, Shebeen, and went on to establish himself as an ambassador for the emerging category. In 2013 he created his own award winning brand Bán Poitín which he uses to lead, educate and support the category.
Bán is produced at the Echlinville Distillery in Co. Down and has secured listings with Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason and The Whiskey Exchange (London) and the Celtic Whiskey Store (Dublin).
Bar 1661 will place a particular emphasis on Irish spirits, which will be highlighted throughout the menu. Native spirits will be mixed and paired with an all Irish selection of bitters, sea salts, and botanicals.
Sample cocktails include the Mad March Mule (poitín, Irish ginger beer, Dublin city bitters) and the Oliver Dillon (poitín, elderflower, sloe gin, citrus, and Irish cider brandy).
“I want Bar 1661 to be a place for locals and visitors alike, a cocktail bar to both start and end your night where you can nurse a pint of Guinness or try something completely new and exciting, get chatting to your neighbour, hear new Irish music live, pair oysters with Poitín tastings, anything is possible,” said Dave Mulligan.
After its initial success as a popup in 2017, Mulligan decided to scout out a permanent residence. This time around, he promises to broaden the offering without diluting what the bar is all about. “We’ll have poitín front and centre because it’s what we know and love, but we are a cocktail bar first and that will be reflective on our menus.”
Expect a wide range of Irish focused and world produce on the back bar – Irish gins, vodkas, whiskies and brandies for the cocktail list along with a selection of quirky Irish and International wines, perrys and ciders. “We wanted to mix it up, to have something for the traditionalist as well as the adventurer, and most of all to showcase the great things being produced on the island. From big brands to small producers, craft beer to Guinness and poitín from 40% – 90% ABV we promise we’ll be anything but boring.”
There are plans to develop an Irish focused food offering in time, beginning with lunch on Fridays and Saturdays from noon onwards.