Reviews

Whelan’s

 Whelan’s
Wexford Street, Dublin 2
whelanslive.com

 

This is one of Dublin’s finest music landmarks. Most bands are gagging for their first gig here and as a drinking joint, you can enjoy its faux old man pub vibe. The tunes are decent (sometimes a bit overkill on the Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes – 2007 wants its groove back) and the crowd can be a laugh.

 

What has it got?

Seating: We have stools at the bar and moveable chairs and stools at the tables as well as some benches.

Doors: You will possibly need a hand with these doors. They’re wide enough for a wheelchair but they’re split in the middle and there are two at the front entrance. However, there is a door beside the Whelan’s off license which has a flat entrance but you will need someone to open it from the inside.

Ground: Textured wooden floor.

Stairs: On the ground level of the front bar, there are no steps, just a slight raise at the front door,  and you can gain access to the music venue from this entrance. If you are going to a gig here, use the front door as there are a number of steps to get down to the stage area from the music venue entrance.
There is another music venue upstairs and that is also where the smoking area is. There is no lift.

Bathrooms: There is one wheelchair bathroom on the ground floor and you will have to ask the bar staff for a key. There is no mirror in this bathroom so you will never know if your smoky-eyed look has gone a bit Courtney Love.

Spaciousness: This is a busy spot and other than bodies, there is plenty of room to get around.

Helpfulness of Staff: Again, the fact that Whelan’s can get really busy means that the bar staff will be on their toes with serving drinks so if you’re looking for the key for the bathroom, you could be waiting a while. However, they are very friendly and if you ask the bouncers, they will look after you.

Parking: There is wheelchair parking about 5/6 doors down from the front entrance of Whelan’s.

Rating: I shall split up the rating here.
As a bar: 9/10
Main music venue: 8.5/10
Upstairs music venue: 0/10

Why did it lose points? As a bar, it lost one point. Even though you can get in and out with no problems, the fact that you need to go all the way to the bar for a key for the bathroom is very annoying and makes an accessible bathroom fairly inaccessible. 

 

The main music venue lost a point and a half because you have to use a separate entrance to get in and unless you make your way up to the front of the crowd, it is very difficult to see the band. On the plus side, the bouncers will often help you up to the front. 

 

The upstairs music venue got no points because there is a flight of stairs that you first need to conquer and there are more steps from the smoking area down into the venue. 

About the author

Louise Bruton

Reviewing Dublin, step by step, in terms of wheelchair accessibility. Freelance journalist and pop culture enthusiast.

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