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Duke Of York, Belfast

7-11 Commercial Court

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about Duke Of York

Tucked away down a pedestrianised side street, this is a very popular and busy pub with as many punters spilling out in to the alleyway as there were inside. It’s quite attractive looking with brick arches and whitewashed stonework, and a number of benches were helpfully placed outside as well. The pub premises seem to span both sides of the street, and it was not immediately apparent what was what, and we found that the first entrance we went through actually led to the gents!

Once we had located the right part of the pub, we found an extensive, but nonetheless fairly compact pub that was packed full to capacity with little standing room never mind anywhere to sit. Chequered red and black tiling covered the floor, but other than that it was impossible to determine what the décor was like since every available square inch of the walls and ceiling were covered with stuff, much of it old Guinness advertising material. Certainly old brewery mirrors were prevalent, but there was also Christmas lights with miniature pints of Guinness, numerous old advertising signs, clocks, lamps, illuminated signs and so on.

Amazingly there were no real ales on tap, which seems something of a travesty in such a remarkable pub. The solitary cider was Orchard Thieves which was a little disappointing and didn’t seem to have travelled too well. Overall I’d say this was a real must visit pub, but the disappointing drink choice may well mean that you only stay for one, as we did.

On 22nd October 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Duke Of York

Hidden away down an admittedly easy to spot alleyway (the rows of illuminated umbrellas strung across the alley aren’t all that conducive to stealth), this is a remarkable pub filled to bursting with all sorts of interesting items. The alley itself offers some bench seating for warmer days and from here you can admire a large collection of road signs, enamel beer adverts and a tandem bicycle, all of which have been nailed to the walls of the alley. The pub has a wide interior, split lengthways into front and back rooms, with the servery over to the left hand side. The front room has a quarry stone tile floor, plenty of wooden beams and walls covered in every type of memorabilia conceivable. The servery has a brick counter front with a granite top and smart bar back, and it dominates the left hand side of the room, allowing only standing room opposite. Most seating is confined to the right hand side of the pub, which is bare boarded and split across two levels. Bench and low stool seating forms the majority of the seating options and these are supplemented by a number of drinking ledges. The decor throughout this front part of the pub includes a large collection of old Guinness adverts, numerous pump clips, brewery and whiskey mirrors, beer trays, race meeting bills, maps, display cases, print set blocks, old beer lamps, boat station signs and all manner of breweriana. A door to the right of the bar takes you through to a slightly smaller rear room which has its own bar access along the left hand wall. This bar has a dark wood counter, a brass rail which for some reason lists the months of the year on it, a nice stained glass gantry and an elaborate bar back with a great looking old cash register. Decor in this room is much the same as out front, with some wonderful beer mirrors and trays looking particularly good. Two rows of tables run through the room with a stage set up at the far right hand end for live music, with a couple of old boys bashing out ‘Fairytale of New York’ on my pre-Christmas visit.
Sadly, the pub doesn’t offer a real ale option, but there are a few interesting beers such as Franciscan Well Chieftan on tap. I found myself drinking a pint of the Smethwick Red, which was passable as this sort of keg brew goes, but it didn’t make me want to stay for a second pint, which is a shame, as there is much to explore in this pub.
I really liked this place, despite the lack of cask ale, and had a great time mooching around looking at the various items on display and taking in some of the live music and cracking atmosphere on this mid-week evening. It’s the sort of pub that’s good to take people who perhaps don’t often visit the pub to, as it’s full of interesting bits that might pique their interest.

On 30th January 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Duke Of York

Easily the best pub on my visit.

Nothing in the way of real ales but the best collection of Irish Whiskies I have seen. Complete with a menu.

Many are labelled NFS - meaning not for sale. An indication of their rarity.

The loudest American I have ever met was banging on about his first real Guinness. It may have been his last, as he was annoying everyone.

On 30th October 2015 - rating: 9
[User has posted 697 recommendations about 691 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

ROB Camra left this review about Duke Of York

Stunningly ornate pub down an alleyway near the Cathedral. Two long thin rooms in parallel, the front room has a small snug at the bottom end and the walls & ceiling are covered in mats, trays, mirrors etc. The back room has comfortable leather settles and is almost totally covered in mirrors. Absolutely packed on the first night we visited as it was a Bank Holiday the day afterwards. It was still easy to get served but there was no chance of a seat even outside in the alleyway, a great lively atmosphere though. The other twice we visited it was much quieter which gave us a chance to have a look around. Standard Irish keg selection served by efficient and friendly bar staff. It's a must visit pub just to have a look around. Just across from the pub slightly further up the alley is an opening to a courtyard. There's a mural painted on each wall featuring some of the Irish greats from music and sport. It's pretty impressive, even I could recognise who many of them were and I'm hopeless at faces.

On 13th May 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2870 recommendations about 2789 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Clive Thompson left this review about Duke Of York

Wins hands down in the “how much breweriana you can display in a pub” competition. There are old photos, beer trays, mirrors, adverts and a plethora of old Guinness and Watney Red Barrel promotional material. There is so much that items are even fixed flat to the ceiling to make more room. It looks like the interior has had some recent work done although it still has an aged look with lots of wooden fixtures, exposed brickwork and flagstone floors. There's a nice four person snug with closable doors at the back. Bit of a shame about the plasma TV but it wasn't that intrusive. The pub has a very attractive old looking exterior and is tucked away down one of Belfast's many difficult to find alleyways, Commercial Court that runs between Donegall St and Henry St in the Cathedral Quarter.

On 1st June 2008 - rating: 8
[User has posted 742 recommendations about 678 pubs]