The Mercantile & James Joyce
Most Dubliners would be familiar with The Mercantile Bar and Hotel situated prominently on Dame Street at the heart of the city. A great spot to grab a meal, enjoy a match on the television, or even to grab a quiet pint. On the contrary, most Dubliners would be unfamiliar with the Joycean history of this Dublin institution.
Step back a century ago to the time of James Joyce when The Mercantile would have played home to Wisdom Hely of Hely & Co Ltd, a celebrated Dublin stationers and printers. Joyce gave this company and its location an outstanding position in his novel Ulysess. Hely’s was the work place of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of the story. Bloom had begun working in Hely’s the year of his marriage in 1888 and held the position for 6 years. The premises has since been rebuilt and renovated meaning some features Bloom mentions have long disappeared. “He read the scarlet letters on their five tall white hats: H.E.L.Y.S. Wisdom Hely’s.” Also missing is the staircase leading up to the buildings front door.
Thankfully, the folks at The Mercantile are fully aware of their illustrious literary connection. The first floor of the building acts as a shrine to Joyce and his work. The walls are lined with news clippings, murals, and quotes all centred around our beloved national treasure. The Mercantile is very much an appropriate place to grab a Green Spot whiskey, Joyce’s favourite tipple, and soak in the great atmosphere inside.
Why drop by?
The Mercantile often features on our Irish Food Trail where we treat guests to some Dublin Bay seafood chowder, or some an Irish duck terrine served with charred white bread and homemade relish, all paired with some 5 Lamps beer. We love the amazing space inside, catering for large groups and parties, while still maintaining the cosy atmosphere of a small pub.
An amazing variety in drink is also available in The Mercantile. All major brands can be found, as well as Irish craft beer, available in both draft and bottle form. The Mercantile also plays host to an extraordinary selection of spirits. You’re sure to find the right drink in the capable hands of the friendly staff. Drop in for a bit of craic and culture!