'Delight' on rugby heroes' bar opening night
IT'S the brainchild of four Leinster heroes, and their much-anticipated watering hole has finally opening its doors in the rugby heartland of Ballsbridge.
The Bridge 1859 bar, a stone's throw from Leinster rugby's HQ at the RDS - and the Irish team's Lansdowne Road home - is co-owned by Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien and Dave and Rob Kearney.
They undertook the renovation of the former Bellamy's pub with Grafton Lounge owner Noel Anderson.
"We're absolutely delighted," Noel told the Herald.
"Naturally there's some stress with opening night, but once you're open that's it.
"We had a soft opening on Wednesday night for friends and family which went really well. It was meant to be a small crowd but there were about 250 people packed in, but it was a brilliant night."
Pictures of the four Leinster and Ireland stars as children (pictured) adorn the walls of the new bar.
"We wanted to put their pictures up rather than signed Leinster rugby jerseys," said Noel.
"We'll be showing the rugby games, but we didn't want to rule out any other sports by becoming a rugby bar.
"I think the pub had a really nice vibe and I'm really happy with the name. It took a lot of negotiation as there were quite a few of us who had a say in it and we really wanted to get it right, but we got there in the end."
Jamie (circled right) previously said they had wanted to give the pub a new name while remaining true to the area.
"It was important to get a name that paid homage to the history of the building and the area," he said. "We feel The Bridge 1859 captures both - we're in Ballsbridge and the building was first used as a pub in 1859.
"We also wanted a name that was easy to roll off the tongue in the RDS or the Aviva - let's go to The Bridge for one."