Builders and developers are almost as reviled in Ireland these days as bankers and politicians. The exception – until a recent tax scandal – was a colourful character called Mick Wallace (now an Independent politician also), who was responsible for developing Bloom’s Lane back in the early Noughties.
A lover of Italian culture, Wallace’s ambition was to bring a slice of the continental lifestyle, with good food and wine at affordable prices, to Dublin at a time when prices elsewhere were soaring.
It is an attractive walkway which links the Millennium Bridge with Strand Street and Upper Abbey Street and is lined with restaurants, cafes and a few shops. There is a cluster of Italian restaurants at one end, hence it is generally referred to locally as the “Italian Quarter.”
Whether this area can still be said to offer better value for money than elsewhere in the city is debatable. The Italian fare on offer tends to be decent and reliable rather than exciting or inventive. Nevertheless, it is a very pleasant option for al fresco dining or a simple glass of wine. Bloom’s Lane is also one of Dublin’s prime people-watching locations on a sunny day, forming a perfect runway for the city’s beautiful people – usually foreigners.
Incidentally, the picture above is of a mural to be found at the heart of Bloom’s Lane. Featuring a collection of random individuals chosen by the local artist responsible for the work, it is a clever and amusing take on the Last Supper.
Bloom’s Lane | Coffee & tea, Shopping, Snacks, Restaurants (Italian)
Bloom’s Lane, Lower Ormond Quay
24 hours daily