As today is Saint Patrick’s Day, I thought it was appropriate for me to write a review of the James Joyce Irish Pub in Prague.
The current James Joyce is actually what used to be Molly Malone’s. The original James Joyce was in Liliova Street where on the 5th of November 1993 the first pint of draught Guinness was poured in the Czech Republic. I first visited there in January 1997 and I remember the place was permanently packed with expats, tourists and locals curious to see what the fuss was all about. Sunday roast was an institution. At that time, the only toilets weren’t part of the pub and you had to go outside and into a toilet shared by several venues and pay 2Kc to the old lady who worked as an attendant.
The original James Joyce closed in 2006. The owner, Frank, also has another Irish Pub, Caffrey‘s, so stayed in town. The actual James Joyce bar is still there, although now Czech. When I last visited and needed to visit the toilets, I instinctively left the bar, only to find that they had integrated the toilets and there was a wall where I used to enter.
Back in 1997, Molly Malone’s was the quieter Irish Pub. Hidden away, but not far from the Old Town Square, it was a cozy place, with open fire and sewing machines and iron bedsteads for tables. I think at one time the slogan was: Yer at yer Grannies’.
Frank took over Molly’s in 2009 and it was renamed the James Joyce soon after. The place is much the same as the old Molly’s but with an extra focus on top-shelf Irish Whiskey, pan-Asian curries and is now non-smoking.
The place isn’t so quiet now. It can be hard to find a table on some evenings. I think it’s been adopted by younger professionals; both expats and locals. The addition of Asian food created by long-time Prague chef, Sofia Smith certainly helps bring in more customers. You can still have the old favourites; Irish Breakfast, Bangers and Mash.
Beer and Guinness, like most of the Irish Pubs in Prague, isn’t cheap when compared to Czech bars. And you can find Guinness in quite a few places now.
But if you are looking for the most Irish or the Irish Pubs in Prague and especially if you are a non-smoker, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy your visit. I also just read that the James Joyce was voted one of the top ten Irish Pubs in the World outside of Ireland by the Irish Times.
The James Joyce Irish Pub
U obecního dvora 4 – Josefov
Phone: +420 224 818 851
Monday: 11:00 – 00:30
Tuesday: 11:00 – 00:30
Wednesday: 11:00 – 00:30
Thursday: 11:00 – 00:30
Friday: 11:00 – 02:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 02:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 00:30