Bootleg Wine Bar Emerges from a Former Starbucks


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A group of Dublin restaurateurs renovated the former Starbucks espresso shop known as Bootleg, aiming to “break down the walls” and transform it into something beneficial for the people of Dublin.

Robert Hayes (Huge Fan) humorously quips that he’s “doing a lord’s job” alongside his business partners Alex Chan (also of Huge Fun), Geoff Nordell (Bow Lane), and Tom Lawson (Sprezzatura). They have a mission to create a new establishment. Recycled panels from Starbucks equipment adorn the bar entrance, high-top tables, and DJ booth.

The venue boasts large windows with views of Fade Avenue, and the interior floors are deliberately painted Campari red.

The cocktail menu is extensive, featuring 12 variations of the classic Negroni, a diverse selection of spritzes, with more cocktails in the pipeline. Gildas, a typical wine bar dish, is offered in eight variations, ranging from €2 for one to €17 for six.

Whiplash beer is available on tap, and the wine list showcases intriguing bottles such as Pet Nat (a natural sparkling wine) and selections from California’s Raj Par and Pax. Guests can indulge in the luxurious Domaine Lapette Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru for €420, or opt for something lighter like the fruity Beaujolais Uva Non Grata (€39).

Additionally, the menu includes seven types of non-alcoholic items.

A Contemporary Sip and Bite on Drury Avenue

Mr. Zhang, the government chef at Huge Fan’s, showcases his creativity in every aspect of the meal, crafting thoughtful dishes. Wei Kai, formerly employed there, holds the position of head chef.

In the snack section, indulge in muhammara flatbread, garlic scape chimichurri, and tapenade, priced at 8 euros. Customers can complement these with hot crispbread, the perfect match for spicy dips. Experience the smoky chili kick of muhammara, the citrusy freshness of garlic scape chimichurri, and the earthy tones of tapenade.

The action unfolds primarily on the plancha. Despite ordering all dishes at once, they arrive gradually, preventing overcrowding.

Notably delicious are the Land Slider and Sea Slider, priced at 17 euros, served with two mini brioche buns. One features battered and fried shrimp atop perilla leaves, offering a spicy floral aroma. The other, the Wagyu Smashburger, boasts juicy, beefy flavors, charred to perfection on the edges.

Furthermore, dinner for two together with a bottle of wine costs roughly around 114 euros. So if you fancy a date with a significant other, this wine bar can be a go-to.

So what’s the verdict?

The transformation of the former Starbucks espresso shop into Bootleg Wine Bar stands as a testament to the innovative spirit of Dublin’s restaurateurs.

Led by Robert Hayes, Alex Chan, Geoff Nordell, and Tom Lawson, this venture breaks new ground in culinary creativity and community engagement. With a focus on sustainability, ingenuity, and diverse offerings, Bootleg Wine Bar emerges as a vibrant addition to Dublin’s dining scene.

Wrapping up

Bootleg Wine Bar is more than just a venue; it’s a celebration of culinary artistry and communal gathering. From its recycled décor to its extensive cocktail menu and tantalizing dishes, every aspect reflects a commitment to excellence and inclusivity.

Under the leadership of its passionate team, Bootleg Wine Bar promises an unforgettable experience for patrons seeking innovative flavors and dynamic ambiance. As Dublin continues to evolve as a culinary destination, Bootleg Wine Bar stands at the forefront, inviting all to savor the joys of good food, good company, and good times.

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