The story of the pub’s founding during the 1970s is somewhat unusual. When the original Jury’s Hotel in the Irish capital was set to be demolished, a Swiss bank purchased the fixtures and fittings of the venerable institution’s so-called Antique Bar, shipped everything back home, and reassembled it all in the centre of Zürich. The choice of name must surely have been easy, for the great author was without any doubt the city’s most famous resident Dubliner ever. Additionally, he reputedly had the occasional drink or two within the renowned watering hole’s snug confines when it was still in his hometown, and even mentioned the place in his classic book, Ulysses.
In terms of aesthetics, the project has been a resounding success. The interior features a large amount of tiling and dark wood panelling, and manages to be cosy and intimate, as well as highly evocative of the Victorian period. In fact, only the seats are not original, and even the comfortable replacements fit in very well with the overall vintage look.
However, despite what the surroundings might strongly suggest, there are a few hints that it is not quite a true example of the old-fashioned kind of establishment that is sadly becoming less common in Dublin, perhaps the most obvious example of which is the common presence of smartly dressed Swiss businessmen. Meanwhile, despite the wide selection of good quality beer, wine and food that is available, the rather uninspiring quality of the Guinness is also a clue. Nevertheless, such things have hardly detracted from the good times that I have spent in the place, primarily because the usually friendly and often lively atmosphere not only suits the décor perfectly, but also helps to make any visit enjoyable. In fact, the only real downside of the justifiably popular spot is that it is only open from Monday lunchtime to Friday evening, and closes during the weekend.
London, United Kingdom
May 24, 2004
From journal Zürich - More interesting than might be imagined