The Welcome Inn

Welcom Inn

My friend Phil and I are always on the lookout for sleazy bars - it's a hobby, even though we're not gay. On a visit to Dublin we visited a very special pub in a fairly central location. Dublin is a strange city...On leaving Connelly Station, right in the heart of the city we walked for two minutes and found ourselves in a barren housing estate with youths riding huge horses bareback around the blocks of flats. After such a long walk we felt we needed a drink, so popped into a pub.
First impressions? The bar had the standard counter but the non-standard railings, stretching from the ceiling to about eight inches above the bar surface (just enough to pass a pint-glass through. Certainly enough space for a shotgun, but maybe that was an oversight on their part). The end of the bar had a wrought-iron gate locked with a padlock, so the barman could enter and exit at will. There was the obligatory old man in the corner mumbling to himself and the only other customers were three teenage mothers, complete with pushchairs, brown babies and gold chains. As I asked for two pints the barman was rocking backwards and forth and humming to himself, while the three young mothers screamed anti-British obscenities at the TV which was showing an athletics event.
There was a tall wooden box in the middle of the floor, which turned out to be the entrance to the toilets, so you had to descend down an almost vertical set of stairs, holding on for dear life and realising that the risers of the stairs were coated in a mixture of urine and vomit.
We stayed for two pints. As we were nearing the end of the second the mumbling old man approached us and we mentally prepared to pay him money to go away. Instead, he came out with an unexpected request. "Can you fix me glasses for me lads?" he asked politely, holding out a pair of spectacles with a lens missing. Phil took the glasses and the lens and tried to fit them together, but he was interrupted by the barman who had unlocked his cage and bounded into the bar.
"Is this bastard annoying you?" he bellowed. "No, not at all...in fact-" My reply was cut off by the sight of the barman picking up the (extremely old) man (leaving the glasses on the table) and carrying him out of the door. Through the frosted glass panel, Phil and I could see the old man taking a beating of the highest order, while shamefully upon us, we sat and cowered.
Some moments later the barman returned and without a comment took his place back in the cage, locking the door with a flourish. We drank up as quickly as possible and made for the door, making sure we brought the glasses back to the bar. "Thanks lads," said the barman, looking at us with eyes like a shark. We had to step over the weeping form of the old man when we left (though Phil took the opportunity to re-acquaint him with his spectacles by laying them gently onto his juddering back). We didn't look back until we got to the end of the street, and it was then that we noticed the name of the bar we'd just been in. 'The Welcome Inn.'
We went back the year after. That's a different story though...

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