You might have passed by a few times already. And maybe you didn’t notice it. Hidden between the Japanese restaurant Eat Tokyo and the shop named Easy Locks, in Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, a bright orange door appears. The name of the place? The Clockwork Door: “Ireland’s first and only Time House”.
The concept is simple. You pay depending on the time you spend there. Everything inside is free. And there’s no time to get bored. The place has most of what you can imagine. Six rooms for six “different moods, different needs that people have”, explains Ciaran Hogan, the creator of the place. The idea came to him naturally, thanks to different experiences: “It is a hybrid idea. I used to work in an internet café. It works in a way where you pay for your time. I thought it was a great idea. Then I worked in a hostel in Germany. We had a great common room where people were mixing and talking and because everyone was a stranger, everyone wanted to meet new people. We had great talks. We shared food, stories…”. While coming back from travelling once or twice a year, he asked some friends to meet up. And all the time, it was the same story. A bar or a café. “I didn’t really like these ideas. I didn’t like to sit somewhere where I have to buy coffee, when it’s not actually why you’re here”. And the idea was born, why not creating a place where you can be with your friends, be relaxed, playing games and chat?
While the idea was emerging, Ciaran Hogan, six rooms have been created. The main room is full of books, sofas and board games. The classics like Risk, Monopoly, Cluedo… And some other, a bit less known like Downfall or The Cube. A place to chill, meet new people or hang out with your friends. Then comes the second room, the video games’ room. Two TV and 1,700 different games dating from 1978 to 2018. There’s also a “cosy room”. Inside, you’ll find teddy bears, colouring books and… a box full of bubble wrap, just in case someone gets a little bit stressed out! Having fun is not necessarily what everybody needs. Sometimes, you just need a place to stay calm and focus. No worries, the place also has a study room, totally isolated, for a better capacity to focus!
The Ha’Penny room is not always open but has the best view of the building (right on Ha’Penny Bridge, as the name can tell). This room can be booked by the hour, usually for meetings or different events. Finally, there’s the kitchen. Coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits, and even 50 different types of tea are available in unlimited quantity.
Along with all this, the staff of the Clockwork Door usually organises some events. This Sunday, a sitting room session will take place in the main room. The principle? Everybody sits on the sofas and play music. A good way to have fun and meet new people!