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At the heart of the pub, the curvaceous oak bar reflects the essence of a tun – a large beer cask or barrel – while the interior design is based on the concept of ‘faded grandeur’, in homage to the grand houses of 18th-century Blackrock, many of which have since disappeared.Exposed brick walls and textured plaster sit side by side, with polished panelling and refined light fittings, creating a shifting visual landscape of modern and bygone eras.
A highlight of this aristocratic aesthetic is a ‘reading room’, with panelled ceiling and vintage books dedicated to Blackrock’s most famous author – James Joyce. Industrial elements, such as wall lights made from vintage handlebars, reflect the building’s mixed-use history as a cycle shop, among other ventures.
The Three Tun Tavern opened on Tuesday 8 July, on the site of the former Tonic Bar, in Blackrock.
Until a few years ago, the Tonic Bar (previously The Missing Swan) had been three properties (numbers 1, 3 and 5 Temple Road). From the early 1900s until the late 1970s, number 3 had been the premises of a cycle fitter/agent. Number 1 Temple Road has been a bar since the 1950s/60s. In the 1980s, it was Cary’s Fort Bar, at the corner of Carysfort Avenue.
Eighteenth-century Blackrock was dominated by the grand houses and estates of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy. It was ‘celebrated for its immense consumption of claret and spirituous liquor’. Blackrock itself was a village comprising ‘a jumble of small houses, shops and a tavern’.