As airport pubs go, the Gate Clock Bar is one of the best. Only the Irish make sure that you leave Dublin and perhaps auld Eire with a couple of expertly poured pints and perhaps even some nibblies from the sea. As you enjoy your last Guinness, have a read of McCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthy or Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks (both written by Pommies, intruigingly enough). Just make sure you catch your flight on Aer Lingus, you drunken bastard.
The Gate Clock Bar can be found in Dublin Airport's main terminal, on your left as you pass through the gates and security. You can spot the traditionally styled Irish pub by its wood and glass façade, and barstool seating at two large Guinness barrels in front. Step through the wide space that serves as a door and you'll find a comfortable spot to rest your weary legs. Have a seat at one of the immobile barstools, mounted to a brick paved floor. A marble-topped bar runs along the right side of the room, and juts out at the end into the room in an almost complete circle, which is just enough room for the pyramid of more Guinness barrels. Here the black stuff is poured with just the right amount of head – no bishop's collar for you. For its efforts in dispensing Guinness, the Gate Clock Bar has even been awarded a few national awards over the years. Overhead, a copper mushroom-like hood shelters patrons from nothing, next to a black, wrought-iron arch with "Jameson's Snug" written on it in gold lettering. One can also find a Jameson's display in the corner, under wooden shelving that holds the usual array of porcelain jugs, old bottles and other Irish kickshaws.
Feel a bit peckish? Pre-packaged sangers and cans of Pringles are available along with, surprisingly, an array of seafood snacks, such as prawns, smoked Irish salmon, crab claws, and oysters. Across the worn stone floor from the bar, you'll find a few low-rider tables and snugs against the far wall, separated with frosted glass with a pint of Guinness on them. Large, old pictures of even more barrels hang over one of these snugs.
The Gate Clock Bar, open seven days a week, is undoubtedly the best place to enjoy that last pint of Guinness before the melancholy sets in upon your return to the New World or elsewhere. It sure beats the hell out of any bar you'll find at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, I can tell you. Not even "the world's busiest airport" can run a decent saloon. While there was no sign of a "gate clock" anywhere, the Gate Clock Bar delivers on the promise of a good pint and a bit of tranquility before a long flight. Sky View Bar and Green Room, eat your heart out!
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