By Ana Sparling |
Are you listening to the parting glass yet? Are you solemnly wondering where on earth
you’re going to bring your hinge dates now? Have you come to terms with the fact that you
may never pay €6.70 for a Guinness that you will inevitably end up leaving outside mid
smoke when you have to make the endless pilgrimage to the toilets?
If you have answered yes to any of the above you are in the right place, welcome other casual
P Macs enjoyer and I am, in case you haven’t picked up on it, so sorry for your loss.
Hearing that P Macs was closing down on the 11th of February was possibly the worst way to
kickstart 2024, at first, I thought it was some kind of sick joke, a cruel source of amusement
from my sometimes-funny friends, the severity of the situation was quickly acknowledged
when they started replying in the group chat, something that usually never happens unless
there is a crisis on the horizon.
It became abundantly clear that we were living on borrowed time with the only pub in Dublin
that actually has built in rooms to make your drug habit that little bit more discrete (I can
promise you we knew what you were doing in there).
So, in celebration of the pub that so many of us have blacked out in during weekdays after a
day of promising each other that you would definitely go to the next lecture, here are a few
tributes from those who also have a P Macs shaped hole in their hearts:
‘Finding a brand new Jenga and writing rules on all the new pieces.’
The old unspoken rule: that if, on the off chance you were lucky enough to come across a
naked Jenga set, you dress her up! The rules ranged from the classic ‘Take a shot’ or ‘Call
this number’ to the more unconventional ‘Throw something at the next person you reckon
goes to NCAD’ or ‘Smoke all your cigs in one go’. Either way Jenga was an important part
of the P Macs ritual and often served as common ground for a group of newly acquainted
college friends or was simply an appreciated distraction for people on bad dates.
‘Flirting with hot people from BEHIND the bar’.
And we thank you for your service! It is a truth universally acknowledged that you have to be
incredibly cool and incredibly patient in order to work at P Macs, I personally have yet to
meet someone who works behind the bar who does not radiate sublimity and will truly miss
being slightly intimated by them as I order whatever the hell the house red is.
‘In summer sitting outside playing 30 seconds getting far too p*issed far too early’.
The only place that day drinking didn’t really feel that wrong, well actually that’s not entirely
true, seeing P Macs in the light of day was comparable to that feeling you’d get as a child
when you’d see your teacher outside of school, a rush of panic that you’re not supposed to be
there followed by the realization that they do not live to individually serve you and your basic
needs, in this case that basic need is beer but I’m sure you understand the analogy. Either
way, getting slightly tipsier than you ought to have in P Macs on a sunny summer afternoon
in the somehow still dark interior served as one of life’s true pleasures and was never not time
‘Getting denied service because one of my friends wasn’t 20’.
What are the positives without the negatives! It’s true P Macs could be a real nerd about who
was allowed in, especially when they would mysteriously change the entry from 18-21’s
within the space of seconds with absolutely no warnings, so first year college me relates to
you on this one! The old ‘if you want to be able to find a seat you have to be there by 6’ rule
has saved many an awkward date relocation. The rumours were true, it was impossible to find
a seat in P Macs from about 7 onwards hence the bald bouncer whose mission was to bring
down the colossal number of eager college students willing to do anything to get in the doors
after 9 o’clock. The trick is to tell them that you’re just looking for your phone that you
accidently left in there, but alas this information is too little too late I’m afraid.
‘My first ever pint I has was in P Macs when I was 16 after a Rex Orange County Concert! I
was with my older sister and her friends; they didn’t check my ID and I felt class. I left-
DRUNK DRUNK after one pint of Orchard Thieves’
This is a personal fav, having your first pint in P Macs is of course a privilege not all of us
were lucky enough to be included in, certainly the nationwide experience of getting stupidly
inebriated after 1 cider is something that a lot of us will shamefully put a hesitated hand up to
but that’s not the point. P Macs was the place of so many firsts, for me it’s where I had my
first Guinness, its where you tried that weird IPA for the first time, it’s that place you went on
that first date you were nervous for because it’s the only pub you knew inside out, its where
you rolled your first cigarette, probably very badly, it’s the first place you got kicked out of,
the first bathroom you got sick in, the first time a bartender winked at you which inevitablymade your night, it’s the first place my now best friends and I celebrated a birthday in the
group, so be warned that the spirit of a 19 year old Éabha Casey drunk on Malibu will haunt
the space where the saloon used to stand.
‘Us Kiki-ing at st Patricks day’
P Macs was many things, a dance floor was unfortunately not one of its plentiful traits, yet
this developed and for the most part, respected rule seemingly went out of the window on
days that held occasion or prevalence, ST Patricks day of course falls into this category, if
you managed to squeeze into the sweat box that was P Macs on St Patricks day, New Year’s
Eve or God forbid Halloween, first of all, go you, very impressive, and secondly you’ll
surely understand what I mean, regular pub etiquette was no more, it became a place of pure
and utter chaos, a place to be feared or even avoided. Dancing in P Macs is an art that should
not be perfected, it should not be done at all actually, for starters its virtually impossible to do
without whacking into someone knocking both your and their drink out of your hands which
will undoubtably end in some kind of verbal altercation, secondly it’s not exactly the kind of
music you can bust a move to, if you wanted to try groove as ‘So long Marianne’ plays softly
in the background, by all means give it a go, but you will receive death glares from anyone in
that place who is unfortunate enough to study music.
‘Just workin there man :(‘
Yet another brave solider who put his life, sanity, and rest on the line every weekend for us
regular bar flies. Most people I know hate their jobs or at the very least hold it with a degree
of indifference, this personal research does not seem to apply to those who work at P Macs,
in fact I would go as far to say that they all actually seem to like where they work, and who
can blame them, it is after all the niftiest pub in Dublin.
‘When I was there on paddy’s day, and I looked out the window and there was a man
confidently peeing in the middle of the road.’
To be fair that is on you for looking outside the window on paddy’s day, but yes, it’s true, P
Macs attracted all walks of life, including those who would from time to time decide to take
their business to the street for all of us humble bar patrons to witness, the real question is
however, and hear me out on this one, can you truly blame the man? We’ve all been there,
needing to pee so badly that you may just explode, silently cursing yourself for downing that
fourth pint of Blue Moon, hit with the sudden realisation that you may not make the eternal
hike to the jacks, and even if you do somehow manage, the chances of you falling down the
always dimly lit stairs are growing by the second, so in some ways, we have all silently
wished to be that confident road whizzer, he had the guts to do what we simply couldn’t.
‘One time this really attractive guy walks past, and he gave me the loveliest smile in the
world and I for some reason gave him the dirtiest look ever and then he gave me a dirty look
back and then I didn’t ever see him ever again and it makes me so sad’.
Okay so maybe this one is a little bit niche and a little bit sad? But it’s still an important part
of P Macs history! It turns out that this is one of my friends P Macs confessions so I can
confirm that this actually happened and still occasionally gets brought up. As good as P macs
was, it had its moments of utter disappointment, not every night out there was going to be a
guaranteed winner and when you’re in your twenties the chances of someone going home
upset, crying over a below average boy or in this case getting thrown a dirty look for purely
for accidental reason are infinitely higher than any other age bracket.
‘Somehow managing to squeeze 20 people into one of the tiny booths.’
The mystery that were the P Macs booths, in case your unfamiliar they are basically a real life
Tardis used by couples who decided that they are a good a place as any to do unspeakable
acts to each other in light of the hotel room shortage, if however you aren’t into public
displays of affection, the booths were usually the place you magically managed to fit 10-25
people in with much less effort that you originally thought it would be and then 1 by 1
struggled to get out whenever you wanted another fill.
‘Seeing my ex there and then immediately throwing up’.
This is not only a completely valid and understandable reaction but also 100% their fault
(most likely). Exes aren’t allowed in P Macs! I am unfortunately aware that soon none of us
will be allowed in P Macs as they shortly will be in the process of disembowelling her dreary
candle lit insides but in spite of this depressing fact, when you broke up with someone, the
first question that needed to be asked is who gets P Macs in the divorce? Of course, this
usually doesn’t come up because you’re too busy asking questions like ‘What the f*ck’ but
alas I believe that P Macs boundaries were an important part of any end of relationship,
romantic or other, compromises like ‘I get her Wednesday to Sat and you Sunday to Tuesday’
would have been a perfectly respectable request and one that avoids any accidental ex
induced projectile vom bombs.
‘Getting really drunk and going around to all the girls and giving them compliments.’
This what P Macs was great for, A) Getting really drunk, big fat tick and B) Being that safe
space so when you do get really drunk it’s not really all too bad because everyone else who
was there were, for the most part, really lovely people. It was a place where if you wanted to
go around and chat the absolute ear of a group of girls whose jacket you just had to
compliment over and over again then that was warmly welcomed, or alternatively if you
wanted to sit in the corner and stay in the firm unit of you and 2 or 3 other friends as you
passionately argue in great detail what animal you would be and why then that was accepted
‘Getting absolutely hammered and creating a love story (with my gals) with the tattooed
What’s a night out in P Macs without a little bit of delusion? We’ve all been there; you’re
staring at the bartender with the mullet, tattoos, and moustache as he pours your pint and all
of a sudden, you’re picturing what your curly haired kids would look like and hoping that he
is also a fan of French tiles and Sphynx cats. It was simply a rite of passage to fancy a P Macs
bartender, (especially the one with the blond buzz cut who had 19-year-old me in a choke
Yes! Who didn’t love the nightly crips bin that did the rounds, I think I’ll miss you most of all
P Macs crips bin. The only true way to enjoy Tayto cheese and onion snacks was half cut
with a room temperature Guinness, sitting on one of the mis matched rickety chairs hoping to
God that they will somehow sober you up before you make the expedition for the last train. In
the dark days before the era of Bambinos the crisps in P Macs were one of the only crutches
available for pacing yourself and avoiding a self-induced Guinness coma, the humble crisps
were just as much of an institution to P Macs as P Macs was to us.
‘Too many to choose from luv.’
Isn’t this always the way, there’s far too many found memories to count that have occurred in
the modest doors of P Macs, despite it being a slightly young pub of only 11 years old (would
you believe) it will go down in herstory as the golden era of pinting, at least for our
generation so although this article will probably be published after the 11 th I sincerely hope
you managed to get one last scoop in and gave P Macs her incredibly well deserved, untimely
and well let’s face it, stupidly unfair send off.