Four generation of McGowans have made their mark on this Phibsboro landmark pub, turning it into one of Dublin’s most popular and fun-filled party pubs & restaurants with its brilliant party atmosphere, great food, plenty of special offers and fabulous new nightclub upstairs!
At the beginning of the 20th century the McGowans family were living happily in County Leitrim. Around 1910 the entire family disappeared from the area and resurfaced in Glasgow almost overnight. The reason for this mass exodus is shrouded in mystery but the story goes that the McGowans’ landlord met with an untimely end over a dispute about rent.
Without a penny to their names and unused to the hustle and bustle of city life the future looked tough for the McGowans. John McGowan took a job as a barman and through hard work and shrewd business sense ended up climbing the ladder and owning seven pubs in the Scottish capital by the end of the second world war.
With the end of the war government departments in the United Kingdom had time to concentrate on domestic affairs instead of those on the continent. The revenue commissioners decided to take a look back over the McGowans books, and took a dim view of John’s shrewd business sense. Another mass exodus ensued, this time the family resurfaced in the fair city of Dublin.With the money that was left from the ruin of his Glaswegian tavern empire John McGowan purchased the current pub in 1949. The Oak Room as it was called at the time had a billiards room and was strictly a men only bar. The females were confined to the small snug until they were finally unleashed on the unsuspecting male clientele in 1969. From then on McGowans has been one of the premier spots in Dublin for singles to mingle.
Under the stewardship of Vincent McGowan, the current owner’s father, the pub became a cabaret hotspot with such legends as Dickie Rock and Hugh Corr and their bands filling the venue every night of the week.
Because of its close proximity to Croke Park McGowans has always been a favourite watering hole for thirsty GAA fans wishing to celebrate or drown their sorrows after the day’s matches. Judging by the mix of jerseys filling each taxi at the end of the night McGowan’s can claim a huge part in inter county relations(hips).
With Paddy McGowan senior at the helm and his children slowly taking over the day to day operations the pub is in its fourth generation of family owners and is going from strength to strength.
The landmark pub remains one of the finest establishments in the city.