Many a hibernian literary giant has been through the well worn doors of the Castle Lounge aka Grogans. it attracts a varied crowd, tourists, locals, (bearded) hipsters, (even more-bearded) crusties and (mustachioed) businessmen, you’ll find them all here, supping their Guinness outside, cheek by jowl of a sunny Thursday evening.
On one of the aforementioned sunny Thursday evenings, I elect to join a bunch of concert going friends who are engaging in a pre-gig tipple.
Alas, Grogan’s literary heritage is lost on my companions.
“Flann who?” says my Spanish acquaintance.
I shake my head in disgust before regaling him with an extract from the brilliant but impenetrable ‘At Swim Two Birds’.
Still no good. His mind is on the Roger Waters show, which is only a matter of hours away now. The conversation turns instead to all things Pink Floyd, but not before a round of ‘toasted specials’ (with mustard, can’t forget the mustard) are ordered, the barman staying cool, calm and collected despite the hordes clamouring around the bar, seeking their pint of plain.
“Bliss” I think to myself, “the perfect evening“, but all good things must come to an end, and sure enough, it’s not long before another friend arrives, stage left. Alas, he has come to steal me away from my merry accomplices, and drag me to some godforsaken dive in Temple Bar. “Listen to more Syd Barrett“ he exclaims, his parting shot to the Floydites, as we slink off not so gently into that good night.