Fade Street Social
Fade Street, Dublin 2
Fade Street Social’s restaurant, tapas bar, cocktail bar and winter garden sprawl across a number of floors and each one has something very different to offer. While the tapas bar, cocktail bar and winter garden lie on the more casual side of things, the restaurant is to be saved for when you have a clean shirt on. I’m a regular in the winter garden, especially as a place to visit for drinks before a gig in the Olympia, as they have half price cocktails of a Tuesday. That is where I make a killing. Oh, yes.
What has it got?
Seating: In the restaurant, all of the tables have moveable chairs (no arm rests) and the tables can be quite close to each other. The tapas bar has a mixture of medium height stools with high tables (not suitable for a wheelchair) and regular-height tables with moveable chairs and a fixed bench. In the winter garden, they have tables with fixed benches and moveable chairs (with arm rests) and stools with barrel tables that aren’t very suitable for wheelchair users.
Doors: The doors are all wide enough for a wheelchair. The Drury Street entrance is step-free but it has two sets of doors quite close to each other so they can be a little tricky to open with a wheelchair.
Ground: It’s a mixture of wooden floorboards and stone tiles.
Stairs: Fade Street Social is spread across a few floors but they have a wheelchair lift that brings you to each level. You can operate the lift yourself but one thing I have noticed whenever I visit there is that the lift is often blocked with spare chairs. So if I use the lift on my own, I have to move chairs to get in and out.
Bathrooms: They have one wheelchair bathroom on the ground level (approx. 60×80) that also doubles as a baby changing room. One issue with the wheelchair bathroom is that because it’s on the ground level, if you are on any other floor, you have to use the wheelchair lift and if it’s blocked by chairs, like I mentioned above, there’s a bit of manual labour involved.
Spaciousness: In the tapas bar and restaurant, the tables are all quite close to each other so it is a tight squeeze. Also, there is a table right beside the door to the lift on the floor of the tapas bar so you will have to get people to move when you’re coming and going.
Helpfulness of Staff: The staff are very helpful here, knowing that there’s a few tight spaces to work with. Make sure that when you are booking a table to mention if you are in a wheelchair so they can pick a table with more moving room.
Parking: There are three wheelchair parking spots available on Drury Street and also in Drury Street car park.
Why did it lose points? Fade Street Social has all of the facilities but the placement of the lift means that you might need to rely on the help of others to get to each floor. The fact that the wheelchair bathroom is on the ground floors means that you will be up and down a few times if you’re in the tapas bar, cocktail bar or winter garden. It lost another point because the tables are so close together so you can feel a bit stuck once you get to your table. That being said, you can access every single floor and that is a rarity for any city centre restaurant or bar.