The Temple Bar at the Dublin House is a lively spot for music lovers on a warm Sunday evening. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly reported that Dead Bank was scheduled to play at the Dublin House on Saturday, August 5. They’ll be at Jamian’s Food and Drink that night.]


It’s twilight on a warm summer evening when PieHole strolls over to the Dublin House in Red Bank, taking in the sight of customers finishing their meals in the courtyard out front.

But we’re not here for dinner. Making our way through the side alley from Monmouth Street to the rear of the restaurant, we hear the deep, raspy strain of rock music and the low chatter of customers surrounding the bar named for a famous street in Dublin, Ireland: Temple Bar.

Steve Reilly rocked the Temple Bar crowd on a recent summer night. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

Steeped in Gaelic history, the popular brick-paved watering hole is the place to quench your thirst with authentic Irish spirits and brews. Vintage whiskey barrels turned into high-top tables add character to the open-air pub. During the day, soccer or rugby matches are likely to be the center of attention, and you can expect to hear noisy expats cheering on their teams.

Nightlife here is about enjoying local talent in a friendly and casual atmosphere. Music begins around 7 p.m. and can draw a large fan base, as when Dead Bank or the Ribeye Brothers, two Red Bank-based stalwarts, plug in their amps.

“I love that there is music here, that I will run into friends, and I love the European pub feel of the place,” Red Bank resident Wendy Giguere says. Listening to the vintage sounds of Steve Reilley, her friends buy another round and settle, discussing, what else? The local music scene.

Customers at the bar were sipping pints of Harp Lager, Guinness and Magner’s Irish Cider. There’s an art to pouring a proper glass of Guinness, and the bartenders here are pros. It’s about the angle and letting the contents settle before finishing it off, we’re told.

Bar bites are typical Buffalo wings and nachos, which come with an Irish twist: they’re made from crispy potatoes covered in gouda and cheddar cheeses and topped with sour cream and green onion. The Nachos Supreme is more traditional, with chili, guacamole, and cheese. Sprinkled with jalapenos, it’s one of the best in the area.

The Dublin House is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Happy hour specials are on tap Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.