Hidden gems and familiar favourites: Trinity Ents committee’s guide to a great night out

Sionainn Fee talks to Trinity Ents about their favourite night-time hotspots, from pubs and restaurants to sunset swims

For those who made it through dry January congratulations. For the rest of us seeking a break from the Workman’s smoking area, standing outside Grogan’s, secret Fred Again sets at Doyle’s, Pav Fridays, the Pav post-lecture (and pre-lecture), here is Trinity Ents committee’s alternative guide to a great night out in Dublin. 

Olivia, Ents Treasurer. 

A comment from the Ents treasurer Olivia: “If you’re looking for a few drinks and a bit of fun with your friends, Mother Reilly’s holds a great pub quiz every Saturday night, where the winning group gets eight pints of Guinness!” Also in Rathmines, Blackbird bar has a great range of board games such as 30 Seconds. This bar also offers pizza from the restaurant Uno across the road. Embrace the outdoors when the warm weather comes at the end of term: “during the summer a sunset swim at Seapoint (Blackrock) or any of the beaches further out is good fun too.” Taking a dip along the Dublin coast has grown in popularity and perhaps you too could pack the cans into a Tower Records bag and head out to Vico Baths like Harry Styles did in June last year.

Looking for student-friendly restaurants at relatively affordable prices? Olivia recommends “Sano Pizza, either in Ranelagh or Temple Bar, has to be the best pizza I’ve ever had, however be mindful that the menu is different in both restaurants!” If you like “incredible Japanese food at very good prices,” Olivia recommends Zakura on Baggot Street or Camden Street. “The Zakura restaurants are also BYOB!”

Adam, Tech Officer.

“One spot I really like is The International Bar, specifically their comedy night, on a Thursday night.” On what he is most looking forward to this year, Adam says “Hopefully another Trinity Ents comedy night, we ran our first one on Wednesday in the Sugar Club and it was a great success and a sell-out show with DU Comedy Soc and Hardy Bucks actor and Comedian Owen Colgan. Watch this space for an increase in comedy nights as Trinity Ents are hoping to make them a bigger thing; they’re intimate and accessible and hit a different demographic as the emphasis is often placed on DJ nights.”

If you’re interested in sport, Adam would recommend going to watch a football tournament: “I love the football, it has a great atmosphere; The League of Ireland is going to start back up on February 17 and there are six clubs around the Dublin area, where a tournament takes place every Friday night so you could go to Phibsborough for Bohemians or Drumcondra for Shelbourne F.C for around 10 Euro entry.”

There has recently been a notable change to the Dublin nightlife scene in 2023. The new licensing reforms implemented by the government enable nightclubs to remain open until 6am. “I suppose we will see a shift in how we go out, personally I hope it doesn’t mean we’re in nightclubs from 11pm until 6am, potentially there’s space for this in-between pre-drinks and the pub and maybe with cultural centres around town, maybe there’ll be more outdoor music or movies; I wouldn’t like to be in a nightclub for seven hours. “

Looking at the rave scene with the emerging popularity of Dublin-based DJ Collectives, Adam highly rates AE86 saying “they’re new and approaching from the garage scene, a reasonably untapped market so they’re bringing music from UKG and they’re brilliant because they’re one of the only garage nights in Dublin and they’re getting big names in from the UK which is quite cool. Their next night is March 2, at Centre Point. and they did one just before New Years on 30 December at Wigwam featuring a cool female DJ, Gracie T. There are a lot more women now in the industry, which I feel in the past might have been male-dominated, in Dublin it’s popping up. Puzzy Wranglers are a big Trinity collective, quite respected.” Furthermore, Trinity Ents works alongside DUDJ for their events, particularly Pav Fridays and for events like the Refreshers Week party at the Sugar Club, where first years were on the decks. “The DUDJ gives a platform to the students, and so does the Ents team, it enables first years DJing trinity events, it’s amazing.”

Adam concluded with this hot take: “Trinity-organised events should be cheaper for students. Last year, Trinity Ents made a 28k net profit from student events.”

Eloise, First-Year Rep

We started by talking about Eloise’s ideal night out: “Perfect night out would definitely be pre-drinks with friends at their flats or the Pav as you get to see so many Trinity peers. I’d then go to a fun bar like Whelan’s especially for live music and my favourite club/bar hybrid would be Workman’s because I love the layout of it, it appears like a Dublin townhouse, with all the eclectic rooms and different music throughout. In my opinion, it’s an underrated spot; I think so many people talk about D2 and the Academy, but Workman’s is far better. Ents do a lot with The Grand Social it’s a great venue for events and they love hosting Trinity people there.” For up-and-coming places, “Bad Bob’s in Temple Bar is on the radar. It’s multi-story with different music and different bars on each floor.” Eloise gives her live music recommendations: “Open mic places are really good, as a first-year rep I’ve noticed so many first years are focused on going to clubs but in terms of actual socialising those are better, such as the open mic night in Mother Reilly’s Rathmines on a Thursday night a lot of people from Halls sign up to sing or perform, some of my friends perform every week which I love to see.”

“I’d love to see if Dublin has any good rooftop bars, that’s one thing people should look into especially in the summer months.”

Eloise has plenty of recommendations for art and culture lovers as well: “I really want to attend the pottery classes on the northside at Imirt Cré-Pottery and Pints, my friends and I have seen it advertised on Instagram.” Pottery and Pints, like the Midnight Disco, changes its venue and was last held on February 16 in the Tara Building. This ticketed event offers a hand-built pottery session and is obviously accompanied by drinks, bound to receive interest from the growing trend in pottery and the current television series The Great Pottery Throw-Down. “There’s a few good art exhibitions in the galleries and museums throughout town for the Spring season, and the Van Gogh Light Exhibition in Artane is an immersive display and worth a visit.” For vintage markets, “Fegan’s 1924 is a northside market open Thursday and Saturday evenings for a vintage sale, drinks included, you could go with friends and enjoy the live music” 

“The Midnight Disco events are good. I went to the first one they held last term. It’s under the radar, mostly attended by Trinity students as I know some of the DJs are Trinity students themselves and obviously their friends come to support them. It’s really cool because they do a lot of gigs in London, and it has a big Trinity element to it. Student DJs like Eloise Powell, Patrick Weaver, and DUDJ were involved when I went. There wasn’t a specific dress code, but everyone was very free in style, and everyone feels like they can express themselves. It’s nice that it’s exclusive and it only happens every couple of months, it’s like a big deal.” The penultimate Midnight Disco of the season will be held on March 16. 

“Ents events are usually over 18s but in Dublin at the weekends some venues are over 21s and even over 23s and that affects the student population as there aren’t many college students over 23. That’s the one downside. To compare Dublin to Edinburgh on nights out, there’s so many bars that will do a student discount for 15% off which Dublin lacks. Imagine if the Pav did a student discount!”