There is a new bar on Parnell Street and we are falling for it, it’s The Big Romance. The vinyl bar focusing on quality sound and craft beers opened it’s doors November 23d and has already made quite the impression.

Just a few minutes from the top of O’Connell Street, The Big Romance casts a sexy pink glow to an area with few bars of its kind. The vinyl bar is also home to the record store Optic Music from December 15th, welcoming a crowd of music lovers to the neighborhood. Hosting weekly Jazz Sundays with live performances from 5 – 7 PM and some of Dublin’s freshest emerging DJ’s, The Big Romance is the place to be if music is your thing.

The owner Dave Parle, from Hidden Agenda, has been working in the music industry since 2005. “I’ve always wanted to do this but have been waiting for the right timing” he tells The Circular. “We found this place earlier in the summer and thought ‘let’s give this a go’. Parnell street is a bit weird, let’s try”.

So why Parnell street? 

“Parnell street is close enough to the city center for people to make the trip and hopefully we’ll create enough of a destination for people to do that, and combine that with it being a nice place for people locally to enjoy as well” Parle says, not an unrealistic vision as the launch party November 23d had a completely full RSVP list.

Owner, David Parle

Parle further explains that the layout of the space was what really sold them. “The idea is that the back is like a lounge and the front is a bar. In the back we’ll have proper listening parties, people can sit down and listen to music while the bar is working”.

Aside from quality music and an impressive sound system, the other layer of The Big Romance is their selection of craft beer and drinks. “I try to be a purist about things as possible and provide a really high-quality standard, from the music that’s playing to the beer” Parle says.

Parle himself has lived in Dublin his whole life, but explains that The Big Romance is inspired by his trips to Japan and other places in Europe. When it comes to the name of the bar ‘The Big Romance’, it’s inspired by the first album of the Irish musician David Kitt.

Talking about the name he says “It’s really nice and warm” before adding “that’s another thing with Parnell street, it can be a bit hard and it’s kind of fun to come here with a really soft name and a love heart in the window. So people have been coming in thinking it’s a gay bar as well, which is quite funny. I think there’s a rumor going around it’s a gay bar” he says with a laugh.

Selection of craft beers

Before The Big Romance, the space was occupied by a traditional Irish pub. “I just wanted to really kind of change the place and do something fresh. It’s been a classic Irish pub since the 40s” Parle says and it sure looks like he’s succeeded.

How has the first week been? 

“Unbelievable, the first week we had to turn people away on the first night. Everyone’s that come in has been really nice, we’ve had no trouble. People are really interested in the beer, very openminded, forward thinking – it’s been brilliant” he says with a smile and we understand why.

The Big Romance focus on both quality sound and craft beer definitely sets them apart from many other bars in the city center. So, if that’s what you’ve been missing in your life (who hasn’t) you now know where to go. A big welcome to Parnell streets new pink glowing heart, The Big Romance.

The Big Romance on Parnell Street