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“What a find”
Review of The Harbour Bar

The Harbour Bar
Ranked #1 of 6 Nightlife in Bray
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Welcome to the official page of The Harbour Bar, one of Bray's best loved pubs.Voted as one of the Lonely Planet's best bars in the world this is a gem located right beside the boxing club where Katie Taylor trains, often calling in to use the facilities.This is one of Bray's top spots for live music with traditional and acoustic sessions in the bar every Wednesday - Sunday and live bands in the lounge every Thursday - Sunday.The iconic Harbour Bar in Bray, Co Wicklow, is famous for attracting a glittering clientele and its visitors' book is a who's who of famous names down through the decades.The Harbour Bar is open daily.
Reviewed 22 February 2014

This pub is unique. My Husband and I went there for a drink whilst in Dublin. We certainly chose the right night, Wednesday as it was open mike night and there were singers, guitarists playing we had such a good time. It is a pity we have lost this kind of atmosphere in our pubs in the Midlands. I would recommend a trip if you are in the vicinity of Bray. Well done for such wonderful hospitality.

4  Thank Pat204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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150 - 154 of 197 reviews

Reviewed 20 February 2014

I moved to Bray in May of 2011 and my very first friend here was Paul O'Toole, Jr.: barman at the Harbour Bar. Being an American with no tie to the island, I showed up here to do a master's degree and then a PhD in literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and hoped I would meet some people along the way. I certainly have had the good fortune of that, but I really couldn't anticipate coming under the spell of the phenomenon that is Paul.

A descendant of Blackie O'Toole, who was flayed and burned at the stake for heretical religious practices in 1328 (he denied the Trinity and called the Virgin Mary a harlot), Paul, Jr., son of sweet, soft-spoken, gentlemanly Paul O'Toole, Sr., is a Puckish, elemental force of the publican tradition. He is Zorba the Irishman. He is the Bray Gatsby. The P. in Randal P. McMurphy, we now know, is not for Patrick, as Kesey wrote it -- it's for Paul.

At the beginning of 2013 I was giving my first published novel its final revision. Seeing as my apartment was freezing, I lugged my manuscript down to the Harbour Bar every night to work. Paul set me up in front of the fire in the lounge and kept the peat burning and the Guinness flowing. He was a midwife to that novel being finished and I am not alone in my gratitude to him. Talk to the artists in Bray. They know him as a patron of all of us doing our own thing in our own way. He is an enabler for the arts, he really is. And when my novel came out, he organized the launch to be held at the bar with Graham and Connor, who have revamped and breathed a new life into the place.

Paul is the bar; the bar is Paul. He's mad as a brush and one of those very rare people, the rarest kind, the kind that you only meet once and never, ever forget. I've never been made to feel so welcome in a new place in all my life -- and the person who opened up this town, and this country, to me was Paul.

Is he uncouth? If you're lucky.

Does he pull the perfect pint? Always.

Is this pub one to visit? Most definitely. And those who get to know it as their local are so very fortunate indeed.

Oh and they do ham and cheese toasties now! Delicious!

7  Thank SteveEllerhoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Always has been and still is one of the best pubs in the world. I hope it never really changes as these sort of venues are in big decline. Great relaxed atmosphere, fantastic decor and great live music.

2  Thank Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2013

On a recent trip to Bray we met up with a group of friends from our glory days in the 60's and 70's..the Harbour Bar was our place. Kudos to Connor Duggan and his team for the loving care they are taking with the restoration..it still feels like home only better. The O'Toole touches are very nicely done, particularly the etching of Paul on the front window!
An historic landmark for Bray and all the Harbour heads..good luck for the future

2  Thank SCrampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2013 via mobile

Strange as it might sound, I bought my house in Bray because of this pub. It's packed to the rafters with film memorabilia, it's quirky and shabby and just fantastic.

5  Thank Eleanor O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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