About Rí Rá

Pub History

RíRá

Rí Rá Georgetown is crafted in the warm pub style of 19th and early 20th century Ireland and custom-made with salvaged material straight from Ireland. Each rescued artifact has been carefully restored in County Wicklow, a scenic area just south of Dublin, and then shipped to Georgetown.

Walking through the front door of Rí Rá Georgetown, you will be transported back in time as you enter the beautiful Victorian bar originating from Gerry Nangles Pub from Summer Hill, Dublin. The bar, back bar and key elements on the Victorian bar were salvaged and restored by master craftsmen over the last 6 months. Summer hill has a rich history and this pub would have been considered a “Gin Palace” in its day.

Unfortunately over the years this area of the city fell on hard times and as a result the entire block where the pub was located was demolished in 1969. Luckily the foreman of the demolition crew Kevin Ryan held on to the interiors until he passed away in 2006. As you enjoy your pint you can think of the countless occasions that were marked in Nangles and the thousands of perfect pints served there over the decades.

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Proud and central in the Victorian bar is our St. Patrick. He was rescued from a burning building on Patrick Street Cork, Saturday 11th December 1920, when three hundred businesses and homes were destroyed by fire, amongst them City Hall, The Library, The Munster Arcade and many more notable buildings where a statue could be housed. He has remained hidden away for the last ninety years until his smoke damaged remains turned up at an estate sale in the city in 2011. Evidence of his ordeal can still be seen even after painstaking restoration work carried out by a specialist team in Ireland, most noticeable his charred staff and smoke blackened cloak.

The theater area to the right as you enter, has meticulously restored panelling and columns from The Theatre Royal, Hawkins Street, Dublin. Over the years there have been four distinct Dublin theatres called the Theatre Royal. The original was built in 1662 located in Smock Alley and closed in 1787. In 1821 Henry Harris bought as site in Hawkins Street and built a 2000 seat theatre for a cost of £ 50,000. It was renovated and added on to in 1897 and again in 1935. The Theatre Royal was a huge theatre, the biggest in Europe at one time seating 3700 people + 300 people standing. It had a theatre, cinema, wintergarden and restaurant and it was fondly called “The Royal” by Dubliners . The theatre closed in 1962 because it wasn't making enough money. Bob Hope & Julie Garland are among the celebrities who performed at The Royal. The screen cinema and a 12 story office block currently housing the headquarter of Ireland’s Department of Health replaced the theatre. Hawkins Street is located just north of Trinity College and south of the river Liffey in the heart of Dublin.

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The Whiskey Room & Bar upstairs at Rí Rá features one of the most extensive ranges of Irish whiskey’s in America, including a number of rare bottles, as well as some unique to Rí Rá Georgetown. The whole experience is a treat for both the whiskey aficionados and those new to Irish whiskey. The bar itself and the beautiful cabinets were meticulously restored from Maddigans watchmaker and jeweller on Ellis Quay, Dublin. The sourcing of these elements of the pub were another crucial component for Sheehan, who wanted to tie into the M Street buildings history, as the jewellers shop ‘J. Clinton Tribby.

The paneling for this area of the pub came from the well-known Royal Bank Of Ireland on Baggot St. The original bank dated from 1835, closed in 1967 and was demolished in the mid 70’s. It stood between Larry Murphy’s pub and the current Bank of Ireland headquarters. The original building the bank closed in 1967 and was demolished in 1972 to make way for the current office building.

‘The Whiskey Room’ upstairs at Rí Rá will provide an alternative dining experience, with a small plates offer which will include many items that pair exceptionally well with Whiskey (who would have thought that oysters are a great smoky whiskey accompaniment as well as the perfect partner for Guinness!). The Whiskey Room is sure to be a fantastic attraction in its own right, offering up a dining experience that will promote the sharing of some great chef driven creations, coupled with the best Irish whiskey selection in DC.

So the next time you’re in Georgetown, step through our doors and allow us to transport you to the place we call home and experience the real flavour of Ireland.

 

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accolades & awards

Casey King, the Rí Rá GM, is particularly proud of the
numerous accolades that the pub has been awarded over the years including:

 

2014

  • 10 Best Happy Hours in DC, Zagat 2014
  • 9 Best DC Restaurant Openings, Thrillist 2014
  • 10 Hottest Bars in DC, Zagat 2014
  • 10 Must Try New Brunches, Zagat 2014