STREET ART ON DAME LANE
DJ Karen has worked on the DJ circuit for the last 3 decades. She started working in The George in late 1994 and thankfully is still there.
Opened in 1985, The George began as a gay-owned venture, eight years before homosexuality was legalised in Ireland. It was subsequently purchased by the group of bars and clubs owned by the Capital Bars Group and today it is owned by the Mercantile Entertainment Group who own several venues around the city including the popular music venue, Whelans.
Originally a traditional pub on the corner of George’s Street, The George was purchased by Cyril O’Brien who loved the atmosphere of the bar but wasn’t quite so sure about the décor and thought the place could do with a revamp. In 1984 the area above the pub was transformed into a gay disco bar called ‘The Loft’, with the downstairs pub remaining as a straight venue. In May 1985 the venue expanded downstairs to the area now known as ‘Bridie’s Bar’, at which point the overall venue became known as The George. Eventually, The George became a dedicated gay bar.
It was only the second bar in the city to be owned by a gay proprietor and to be opened specifically as a gay bar; the other was ‘The Viking’ on Dame Street. Prior to this point, the city had multiple ‘gay friendly’ bars, however these venues did not openly trade as gay bars or advertise for LGBTQ clientele.