The Grand Social
35 Lower Liffey Street, Dublin 1
The Grand Social is a very laid back and easy-going bar and they have bands playing very regularly in their upstairs venue. It's one of my staple bars.
What has it got?
Seating: The majority of the chairs here are moveable and will fit a wheelchair. They also have couches.
Doors: The doors are easy enough to open. The front doors are manned by bouncers almost all of the time and they will grab them for you.
Ground: The floor here is lino, I believe, so when drinks are spilled, you won't go sliding too far.
Stairs: There are no steps at the entrance and on the ground level you have a bar and a wheelchair bathroom. There are about three steps down to the second bar and, unfortunately, their music venue and lovely smoking area are up a flight of stairs.
Bathrooms: They have a decent sized wheelchair bathroom here and it has a mirror. You'd be surprised how many wheelchair bathrooms don't have mirrors. You need a code to open the door for the bathroom but ask at the bar and you'll be looked after. I would put the code here but I don't want to be the reason behind any bathroom babies.
Spaciousness: This place can get pretty busy. The front bar is a bit of a bottle neck with people coming and going. I normally sit at the far end of the bar and I have enough room to get to and from the bathroom but I send my mates up to get my drinks.
Helpfulness of Staff: The staff here are very helpful and have often leant an arm and some muscle when I want to go upstairs.
Parking: There's wheelchair parking on Bachelors Walk and on Great Strand Street (map here).
Rating: The rating will be funny here.
As a bar: 9/10
As a music venue: 1/10
Why did it lose points? As a bar, it only loses one point because it is quite tight to move around but you have everything you need on the ground level.
As a music venue, it lost 9 points because you can only get up there via piggyback. I personally have no problem being lifted up but it is not ideal, probably not very safe and basically a pain in the ass. It got one point because the upstairs is totally flat, so if you make it up there, you can go between the venue and smoking area with ease. However, the bathrooms up there are small cubicles.