Apart from acquiring mysterious new monikers, these bars also had a little more in common as all were favourite spots for some of our literary greats who liked to stop in, let their creative juices flow and get some inspiration.
Dracula author Bram Stoker was a frequent visitor to Toners and even though he wasn’t a great pub fan WB Yeats once stopped in for a glass of sherry, brought there by Oliver St John Gogarty, on his first visit to a traditional Irish pub.
Up the road in the heart of Patrick Kavanagh’s Baggotonia, The Waterloo Bar was a favourite haunt of the Stony Grey Soil poet and legendary Borstal Boy Brendan Behan. More recently, Seamus Heaney stopped in for literary libation.
Patrick Kavanagh, Brendan Behan and their comic genius contemporary Flann O’Brien are also known to have a sat on a stool in pubs further down Baggot Street and Merrion Row with names today such as Foleys and Reillys.
And the Hennessy Cognac connection to the temporary change of shopfrontage of the three pubs?
Hennessy recently announced the winners of the 47th annual Hennessy Literary Awards coinciding with the renaming of the hostelries as Aaron Finnegan won the First Fiction category, Louise G Cole won Emerging Poetry and Manus Boyle Tobin won Emerging Fiction (as well as being named the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year).
So for 48 hours Toners Yard, The Waterloo and Reillys – Tobin’s, Finnegan’s and Cole’s to anyone stopping in over the recent weekend in question – helped celebrate new Irish writing and the literary achievements of this year’s Hennessy Literary Awards winners.