Popular Irish bar returning to Derby city centre due to open imminently

Cover image. Photo: 100570585

What’s the craic? Irish bar O’Dwyers is returning to the heart of Derby promising to be ‘bigger and better’ than before. 

The popular bar is returning to the city after shutting down five years ago

It will have “amazing live music, sport, food and will be open before you can wait for your Guinness to settle,” the bar said on its socials.

O’Dwyers bar, originally opened in 2015, in Kedleston Road, in Darley Abbey, but closed its doors in 2019.

Recent announcements from the O’Dwyer group on social media reveal that they will be bringing back the bar, which will contain all that Irish culture has to offer.

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The new site will be in Friar Gate, replacing what previusly was the Clubhouse, which shut down in October 2023.

Irish University of Derby student Rory Cunningham has lived in the city for three years. He currently works at the Derby Irish Association, hidden away in Becket Street.

The 23-year-old said: “When they are busy with live music they are always bouncing, it’s a good atmosphere with a lot of different generations of Irish people.

“A lot of them are older, emigrating here years ago, but their kids and grandkids all grew up in Irish centres and pubs.”

Following the original O’Dwyers bar shutting down, the group subsequently purchased Blacksmith Lounge in Sadler Gate. They also own the Bell & Castle in Burton Road. 

Opening the new 5,226 square-foot site is expected to boost their portfolio further.

Mr Cunningham believes the location of the new bar will be beneficial for the community.

He said: “I think having it centrally more in town will be good for people to experience what an Irish bar is really like.

“There are a few Irish pubs but there is rarely many people that aren’t already regulars that go.”

On 29 April the bar announced they are welcoming “culinary genius” Adam Britton-Prior, who will be at the helm of the kitchen at O’Dwyers bar. 

He had steered the ship as general manager at the group’s Blacksmith Lounge as well as the Palfrey in Belper.

The menu, which is expected to be released soon, promises to combine ‘timeless classics with authentic Irish twists’.



The bar will also feature traditional live Irish music, which Mr Cunningham says is a “massive” factor in Irish bars.

Work is underway in renovating the interior. Photo: 100570585
Work is underway in renovating the interior. Photo: 100570585

There will also be student nights, as well as traditional pub games such as pool and darts.

O’Dwyers is hoping to bring a bit of the luck of the Irish to the centre of Derby and bosses say it’s expected to open in spring.