Dame Lane is located in the south of Dublin’s historic city center, parallel to Dame Street. Temple Bar and College Green are found just north of the street. Dame Lane is close to Dublin Castle, St Andrew’s Church (now the Dublin Tourism Office) and Trinity College. The lane stretches from Trinity Street, to Palace Street, across South Great George’s Street in an east-west direction. It also runs alongside and close to part of the “Dubline”, an historic Dublin tourist walking trail that stretches from College Green to Kilmainham.
The lane is part of a small area bounded by South Great George’s Street and Dame Street. It is branded “Dame District.” This is promoted by a group of local businesses in both Dame Court and Dame Lane “as an area for socialising and entertainment.” The most significant landmark today on Dame Lane is The Stag’s Head, a mostly intact public bar built on the site of older taverns dating from the 1780s. The Stag’s Head was re-built in 1895 in “redbrick with Italianate detail” by businessman George Tyson and architect Alfred McGloughlin in high Victorian style with mahogany, stained glass and mirrors. It is “elaborately decorated inside and out.” This building sits on the corner of Dame Court and Dame Lane. This replaced an older bar from the 1830s known as John Bull’s Albion Hotel and Tavern.
The lane is also notable for the Universal Hair Clinic’s “Why Go Bald?” sign on the corner of South Great George’s Street, reputedly a favourite Dublin landmark of Bono. The sign dates from 1961 and was refurbished by Taylor Signs in 1999, following representations from the Twentieth Century Trust. From 2013 to 2018, 5 Dame Lane was the location of Fumbally Exchange, a not-for-profit community of design professionals. The building at No. 5 Dame Lane dates from 1906 and was built as part of an extension to the Hely’s Acme Printing Works. Architectural historian Christine Casey refers to the date of 1906 when Batchelor & Hicks used the Hennebique “system of re-inforced concrete framing reputedly employed here for the first time in Dublin”. The building was added to the Dublin City Council Record of Protected Structures in 2017.