There's a little piece of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory in this boozemonger den located in my beloved neighbourhood. This well kept Stoneybatter secret remains a local spot for those who seek comfort in liquor and spontaneous banter.
The first time entered The Glimmerman, there was a post-wake party going on in the backyard (which is actually more of a smoke-clouded junkyard-looking beer garden reminiscent of some kind of “Little Jamaica” if you know what I mean). Some fellas taking selfies while posing beside portraits of the deceased, a shrine made of cider bottles, Happy Mondays blasting like it was fuckin’ Hacienda back in the day, teenagers and 70-something mourning and seshing, a mix of tears, laughter and madness is what shaped my first impression of The Glimmerman that day. I just knew, straight away, that I would come back to this little piece of Dubliner whimsy, as I call it.
After walking down Manor Street getting past the front door, you will find yourself in a hall full of illustrations of Irish writers and poets, from Wilde to Beckett, and quotes from books. You will then be confronted by the classic “NO CHILDREN ALLOWED” sign.
There is a lounge, the snugs, seats at the bar and the smoking area. The smell of old oak, warm beer, damp carpets and smokey embers morphs into one unique fragrance.
There is an old bike hanging from the ceiling and also a rusty bed, with Charlie Haughey and Margaret Thatcher in it together for a touch of extra irony. A coffin can be seen half-hidden in the corner and piles of antique memorabilia make The Glimmerman feel more like a hoarder’s home than a pub. The randomness makes it all so genuine and authentic, like no other place in a city. It’s our third home after our own and the workplace.
Some say that The Glimmerman is grim, dingy and full of an intimidating clientele. To me it’s a quirky, cosy gem of a pub where I can delight myself by watching others singing along to the most eclectic and unpredictable jukebox (Enya, Aslan, Technotronic, Elvis, Bob Marley, Pussycat Dolls, Tupac… that’s shuffle mode on alright!) while indulging in affordable pints and an inviting, comforting fireplace. Besides, I’ll never forget that time when I went to the toilet after a few Smithwicks and someone in the adjacent stall attempted to strike up a philosophical conversation about how weather affects the human kind. Hilarious.
The reason I love this pub is beyond my own understanding. It’s the entire experience, the surreal Twin Peaks-like atmosphere, the sound of old men slagging each other, the whimper of the working class to a well-deserved and perfectly poured pint after a long hour shift, the fact that everybody is enjoying themselves and their company or even their solitude in spite of the free wi-fi, the feeling of entering a Twilight Zone of sorts as the door squeaks and the hinges say hello. All the whistles and small talk and silence and the music going up several decibels in a significant uproar just means something, effortlessly. Oh, and you’re allowed to bring your own food from the chipper next door. I’ve considered having a pub snug picnic many times.
The point is… It’s not like I decided to support this specific local business only because it’s local but it sure makes me feel better about myself for being a regular. Sometimes there’s a stage at the back and live music and BBQ take place. Or a quiz night. Sometimes there’s not much going on and that’s fine too. Sometimes you leave earlier because the match on the telly is wrecking the buzz. Sometimes you go there twice on the same day because once isn’t enough. This place will always have a special place in my heart, even if I decide to move to another neighbourhood someday. I don’t think The Glim is everyone’s cup of tea but it certainly is mine.
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