REVIEW: Drinks in the parking lot turned into a Glovebox art gallery

You really can turn any space into anything these days – Allta’s Glovebox art gallery/cocktail bar is located in the Trinity Street car park, transforming an otherwise empty space into a beautiful center for drinks and culture.

It’s unclear how long Glovebox plans to stay where it is, so it was essential to get a reservation while we could. A friend who is emigrating decided this was a must-visit spot before making her one-way trip across the pond, and I can honestly say the space didn’t disappoint.

Why should you go there?

If you’re tired of going to the same types of bars and restaurants, Glovebox is fantastic for somewhere a little different. You feel like you’re experiencing something when you’re looking for entry and you’re extra special for getting a reservation. If you have an occasion to celebrate, a birthday, anniversary or a parting drink like me, this is a great place because you feel like you’ve tried harder just for choosing such a unique place.

Set the scene

It’s literally a parking lot; there are no cars at level 5, but there are space outlines. The other parking levels are actually intended for parking; our designated driver parked on level 3 which was convenient. From there we walked to level 5, where we fumbled around a bit trying to find the entrance to Glovebox (it’s not signposted at all) until finally a friend who had already arrived had took pity on us and sent us pictures of the series of doors she went through to get to her destination. It almost has that speakeasy vibe.

The backstory

Glovebox’s website describes the experience as follows: “a playful and fun new home for contemporary culture in Dublin” and I totally agree with that. It serves as a cocktail and snack bar for Allta Winterhouse.

interior

The interior doubles as an art gallery/cocktail bar, with long wooden seats and benches covered in plush rugs. The toilets have a kind of open-plan feel (don’t worry, you’ll pee in a cubicle) and no mirrors, though a friend managed to expertly touch up her makeup in the frosted glass.

The art was well spaced out and each piece had its own moment. There was artwork from Alfie Kungu, Ronan Dillon, Sarah O’Brien and many more.

My only complaint would be that the music was very loud, making every conversation a bit of a shouting match (luckily anyone who knows me will tell you I have a knack for being loud).

The drinks

If you like cocktails, they take it seriously. I opted for the Apple Mule with vodka (also comes as a virgin cocktail, which our designated driver picked and loved) and it was delicious. The care taken in making these cocktails was intense and could be seen from our table. The presentation was simple, with a solid cuboid of ice in the center (which was cool (literally) but made it a little hard to drink). I liked it so much that I ordered a second one.

We recommend ordering

The sour cherry was also delicious, in martini style glasses. As someone who isn’t a big gin drinker (I normally despise that kind of stuff) I can honestly say the taste wasn’t too strong and the bitter cherry sweetness masked it easily.

What we also wanted to order

If I had time for a third drink, I would have opted for the raspberry spritz. We had food reservations at another venue, but next time I would like to try the snacks, especially the shitake miso butter sourdough.

The climax

The location is stunning – even more so than the drinks, it’s mesmerizing the whole time you’re there. The art was quirky and thought provoking, and added a nice juxtaposition to the parking lot setting.

The service

The service was very efficient and quick – it wasn’t overly friendly but it wasn’t unfriendly either. Our final round of drinks came quite late as the venue was getting busier, but nothing too crazy – we were heading to another venue so that was the only reason it was a slight issue. All in all we were looked after consistently for the two hours we were there and never had to flag anyone down for another drink or the bill. Who came in this cute little jacket.

Accessibility

There is an elevator to level 5 and plenty of space between tables and around the gallery.

And the question on everyone’s lips – is it cold?

I’m not going to lie, walking to Glovebox in a light jacket and scarf, I was initially worried that I hadn’t worn proper clothing. However, there are heaters on level 5, so no, it’s not freezing. However, I wouldn’t say it’s roasting either – at one point I put my shirt back on as I was a little cold (although bear in mind that Storm Eunice had just passed and that there had been literal snow on the ride while fine). If Glovebox stays in the warmer months, I think you’d be perfectly comfortable temperature-wise.

Where is it again?

The glove box is located on level 5 of the Trinity Street car park.

How to follow them?

You can follow their social networks HERE.

Prices from ?

Drinks ranged from €7-€13 which isn’t too bad when it comes to drinking in Dublin. Considering the effort put into the cocktails, I was surprised at their €12-13 price tag. However, the wine was a little more expensive than most spots, starting at €9 a glass and going up to €13.50.

Would I recommend it?

Overall, yes, I would recommend a visit to Glovebox. Mother’s Day is coming next month; if your mom likes a fancy cocktail party or setting, then Glovebox will earn you significant points for the effort. Would love to see more spots like this in Dublin, and will absolutely be returning to Glovebox.

KEEP READING: On a half-term holiday in Dublin this weekend? Here is a list of things to do

William E. Bennett