The Celtic Tiger may have lost its growl, but this auld town is as energized as ever, with bustling pubs, fast-evolving culinary and theater scenes and the warm, witty hospitality that’s given the Irish such a good name
Author Jon Marcus Photography Brian Park
“YOU’RE VERY WELCOME.” That traditional Irish greeting will likely be the first thing you hear from every taxi driver, hotel clerk and maître d’ in Dublin, and it’s seldom seemed so heartfelt. Since Ireland’s so-called Celtic Tiger economic boom went bust in the 2000s, this island nation has weathered some harsh economic times. But while that pushed down restaurant prices and hotel rates — propelled not long ago to previously unimaginable heights — it hasn’t slowed the confidence or entrepreneurship of a generation raised on energy and affluence. Talented chefs are launching innovative restaurants, and whole neighborhoods of hotels and theaters that appeared overnight are now thriving. The new Dublin is fashionable, cosmopolitan and confident, yet it’s also, in a way, returned to basics, with a tempo that has slowed down to the leisurely pace of a pour of Guinness. But for all the changes, there’s one thing this city never lost: its Irish hospitality, the warmest anywhere. You’ll be very welcome.