When the Shaw opened at the end of the Celtic Tiger era, it acted as an antidote to the overpriced identikit superpubs that had been dominating the Dublin drinks scene for years. Set up by the people behind Bodytonic, a DJ collective that also runs The Twisted Pepper club, the Shaw is aimed squarely and successfully at the 20s-30s market. Music is a big part of the pub, and there are often different DJ’s playing nights there throughout the week and weekend. In the daytime, you can get coffee and Italian food, and from late afternoon it turns into a fully fledged bar.
Entry is through a revamped old man’s pub which conceals the deceptively large semi-covered and heated outdoor area at the back. The pub area also functions as a creative space, hosting art exhibitions and the like. The backyard of the Shaw features pool tables, a smoking area and a giant blue vintage bus serving made to order pizza. There are loads of drinks deals on offer, selling the kind of drinks you’d choose to drink even without a discount. It is also notable as the only pub in Dublin which sells one of my favourite drinks, Buckfast (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).