Here at Gaelick we’ve decided to do a review of the local haunts frequented by members of our lovely community. Where better to start than my favourite place, Panti Bar? There are many reasons to choose Panti Bar when heading out for a scoop with your mates or on a date with someone special.
The first thing to note is that, as far as I can see, Panti Bar is the only gay-owned gay bar in Dublin. I know that places like Bobs in temple bar are at least partly gay-owned and have gay nights, but Panti Bar is 100% gay, 100% of the time and there’s a lot to be said for that. I don’t know about anyone else but it makes me happy to know that the fabulous Ms Panti is getting something out of this place, rather than a faceless company. After all, she has given a great deal of herself to charitable and political work so why would you go to another bar? OK, I digress, I could go on about how much I love and respect Panti all day; I’ll try to get back on track.
Back in November 2007, Rory O’Neill (aka Panti) took over the lease on what used to be Gubu, a small bar on Capel Street in Dublin. I liked Gubu but it wasn’t that popular with the community and was empty quite a lot of the time, I can’t say I was surprised to hear it was closing. Rory has done a fine job on the place, it’s much more than Gubu ever was. Pictures of Panti adorn the walls and a small stage is set at the top of the main area on the ground floor. The bar can be accessed from almost anywhere and is staffed by men so hot they make me wonder… “If he got me drunk enough… would I?”
One of the main things that Rory and Panti have brought to the place is atmosphere. When you go into Panti Bar you feel totally at ease and welcome. Nowhere else on the scene is that feeling recreated, to my mind. If you go in early you can see groups having meetings, I have been to both Gaelick and Pride meetings there and it’s funny, you look around and see LGBT Noise in one corner and lord knows who in the other, all plotting for the gay agenda while simultaneously catching and throwing a ball around the place for Rory’s dog to chase – tell me – where else do you get that?
At night the place is packed, especially on Thursdays when Panti and Bunny do their show. (You can read our review here). Monday nights boast “Make and Do Do” where we all get to be creative in a Mary Fitzgerald way. You have to admire them for trying new and interesting things.
Panti Bar is also a great place to go on a first date. You can actually hear what someone is saying to you, and myat age that’s something I really appreciate.
The pool tables that Gubu had downstairs have been replaced with a small area that is how I’d imagine Panti’s sitting room would look, cosy and fabulous. There is also a bar and small dance floor downstairs now which are very welcome additions.
The toilets aren’t the best to be honest but they’re not the worst either and that’s the only negative thing I can think off, so don’t say this review isn’t balanced!
Another new addition to the bar is that it is soon to sell food. I really am delighted about this as there aren’t that many places to grab a snack on the northside. I can’t wait to order an Ann Doyle.
In another “how does she come up with these ideas” moment, Panti is now offering self-catering accommodation above Panti Bar. Panti’s Pads each have a double bedroom, large bright living room, kitchen and a modern bathroom.
So, I’d have to give Panti Bar a Gaelick five star rating and it’s not just cause Panti is so hot, it really is a great place to go, whether on a mad night out, a quiet date or just a catch up with your best bud.
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