Beloved Dublin bar the Bernard Shaw is closing its doors at the end of October permanently.
The Bernard Shaw management released a statement on their social media this afternoon, announcing that the bar, “Eatyard, all organisational, art and performance spaces and everything else in the building and yards” will be closing “for good”.
“We’ve tried really hard over the last few months to renew the lease, stay on longer, or buy the place. A lot of things didn’t go our way over the last 12 months either, but it’s out of our hands now unfortunately,” the statement read.
The Bernard Shaw owners thanked their past and present staff, and customers who have patronised the bar during its 13 year history. “Everything we do is about people…. their ideas, trying things out, making a mess of it, trying again, getting it right, having fun, making memories, and when the party’s over, lets plan another party. But parties weren’t meant to last…”
“Our landlord, our neighbours and the council were by and large all brilliant and very helpful and supportive. The artists, makers, designers, bands, DJs, promoters, hustlers and lunatics who did their thing at the Shaw – we couldn’t have done it without you. We have had amazing, loyal customers, many who came, and left, and came back again over those 13 years as life got in the way while we were busy making plans and being busy fools.”
The owners alluded to concerns around the high number of popular venue closures in recent years. “Dublin is changing, we can all see and feel it but we are going nowhere and we won’t go down without a fight”
“We’ll start something else, somewhere else (plans are afoot), and keep fighting the good fight. There are so many young creative, clever, smart people in Dublin and Ireland at the moment – there’s lots to be optimistic about – but they need the spaces to meet each other, make plans, and make them happen!”
The Bernard Shaw owners said they will be releasing more information, “lineups, events, wakes, next steps” over the next few weeks, and will continue to operate as usual until the end of October.
Earlier this year, the venue was refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanála to continue operating its beer garden and outdoor dining area. Objections had been lodged by local residents against the bar. Some of the complaints related to noise pollution.
An online petition was set up in response, “Save The Bernard Shaw’s beer garden and Big Blue Bus area”. The petition’s founder argued: “The Bernard Shaw is a cultural institution in Dublin. The venue’s contribution to the vibrancy of our city is met by few other and now it faces losing a planning bid to continue operating outside beer garden and Big Blue Bus area.
On the Bernard Shaw’s social media, the bar self-describes as: “Bar. Cafe. Creative Space…. As promoters, music is our first love and putting on parties and events is our job. Musically, we cover a lot of bases. We have DJs and bands playing across the board from house to jazz to grime, roots reggae to disco, hip hop to rock.”
“Events-wise, on any given day you could walk into a back yard market, an exhibition launch, a marathon 10 hour set from a Detroit DJ legend, a hot-tub party, fresh pizza on a double decker bus, an Italian breakfast, a live show from emerging Dublin bands, graffiti battles, sunshine sangrias in the yard, or even just a simple pint of plain and a chat.”
The Bernard Shaw is operated by Bodytonic, who also operate Wigwam, Jam Park and the Back Page.