Brian Conlon Discusses The Bar On St Stephen's Green

By Emily Hourican
Brian Conlon Discusses The Bar On St Stephen's Green

Brian Conlon is the owner of the Bar, newly opened on St Stephen’s Green. He also owns the legendary Slattery’s on Capel Street.

This article was originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of Hospitality Ireland Magazine, in July of 2022.

Tell us about the Bar.

The Bar is a Guinness-themed bar in St Stephen’s Green, in the centre of Dublin, on the former site of TGI Fridays. We offer customers top-quality drinks and food and friendly service while they catch up with friends or watch a game on our big screens.

We undertook extensive renovations over the past six months, and the result is a contemporary venue with modern paintings and Guinness-themed murals by Dublin artist Creative Dave, along with vibrant photo ops for those all-important Instagram moments!

At whom is the Bar aimed?

The Bar is aimed at locals who live and work in the city centre, as well as tourists and visitors to the city. It’s perfect for a VIP event, a group night out, or after-work drinks.


Boasting 18 screens, 250 seats and cosy booths, it’s an ideal venue to watch sport. We’ll be showing all the big sports events, and we hope that people will come along to watch the game and soak up the atmosphere. With cosy booths and a lively atmosphere, it’s the ideal venue for a night out.

We also have Guinness props and a Stoutie machine – where you can put your own selfie on the head of a pint of Guinness – which is going down a treat with customers and tourists.

Is now a good time for a new outlet?

There is no perfect time for a new outlet, however, when an opportunity arrives, you need to take it. It’s a great location, so we couldn’t let the opportunity pass.

How does this work in conjunction with Slattery’s?

Slattery’s is a 200-year-old bar that offers a unique look into old-world Dublin. Hopefully, we can attract people to both bars, as we offer an old-world and new-world bar experience.

What do you hope the Bar will bring that is not already available to customers?

The Bar offers a lively, friendly atmosphere with unique, modern Guinness-themed decor in a fantastic central location, right on the Luas stop. Our 18 screens also make it a fantastic venue to watch sports in the city centre.


How has the opening been for you?

The opening has gone well. We’ve had a great reaction from both locals and tourists. We’ve had great feedback on the range and quality of drinks that we offer. Our food menu has been very popular. Customers like the lively atmosphere, with live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and our house DJ has been getting people in the party mood! Guinness fans love the themed decor.

We are looking forward to welcoming more tourists over the summer months. We’ve had some great evenings when there has been a game on in the Aviva, as fans gathered for some pre- and postmatch celebrations, while others watched the game on our big screens.

What are the main challenges for the industry at the moment?

Rising costs are a concern for everyone. Insurance reform is needed, and energy costs seem to be rising all the time. A shortage of trained staff is a challenge, as a lot of them left the industry during lockdown.

The Bar Stephen's Green.

What are the main opportunities? We can see that people are starting to have confidence in socialising again. It is up to the bars and other venues to give the customer a package of good food, good drink, and entertainment.

Do you think that the pandemic has changed what we look for in hospitality?

Yes. The customer is now more aware, and they are looking for a safe, clean environment.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m originally from Dublin and still live in Dublin with my wife and two children. I started working in the local bar as a lounge boy, at 15 years of age, and progressed to working as a barman. Then I went on to management, working in five-star hotels, nightclubs, and local bars. I also worked in Spain for two years in my early twenties. I have owned Slattery’s Capel Street for over eight years.

The Bar Stephen's Green.

What is the core Bar experience?

I’ve always said the primary reason for somebody coming into a bar is that they are thirsty, hungry, or both. It’s up to us to offer good drink and good food – bands, DJs, atmosphere and sports are all add-ons.

Firstly, we serve great Guinness on draught. We have a wide range of beers and spirits, and our cocktail list is full of the favourites. We also serve a range of small and large plates for all taste buds, from Guinness-and-beef stew to beerbattered fish and chips, steaks, burgers, and superfood salads. It’s worth a visit just for Guinness chocolate mousse alone!

Any other plans on the horizon, for the next year or so?

You can never say no. I’m a workaholic, and I hardly ever take a day off – like many self-employed people – but I love what I do. I think if I took on another project, my wife, Sinéad, would have something to say!


Staff members: 28


Seating: 250

Most popular pint: Guinness

Most popular bottle beer: Bulmers

Most popular cocktail: Espresso Martini

Read More: Hospitality Ireland Summer 2022: Read The Latest Issue Online!