CAPEL STREET HAS BEEN PEDESTRIANISED
22 AUGUST 2022 VISIT
As I was walking along the street a couple approached me complaining that they could not purchase a parking ticket as they could not find a ticket machine. They got really annoyed when I explained that it was a pedestrian only zone. They explained in no uncertain terms that they will never again to Dublin to shop.
If you are walking along the street a degree of caution is advise because bicycles and electric scooters are permitted to use the street and there are so many of them that they a rapidly becoming a safety issue. Note: I am not sure if electric scooters are actually legal but there are many of them.
It is sometimes claimed that the street takes its name from the chapel of St Mary's Abbey; other Capel Streets may be named after chapels, but this one is named after Arthur Capell, 1st Earl of Essex, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1672–1677. Built by Sir Humphrey Jervis in the late 17th century, he also built Essex Bridge (today Grattan Bridge), and the street was known for its mansions and a royal mint. In the 18th century, it became a commercial hub, with two-bay buildings replacing the "Dutch Billy" houses. The Capel Street Theatre also stood there in the 18th century.
The Torch Theatre operated on Capel Street in 1935–41. The street declined in the 20th century, before a revival around the 1980s. Today it is known for its variety of restaurants, shops, cafés and pubs; as Panti, the owner of Pantibar put it, "You can buy a lightbulb, sexual lubricant, Brazilian rice, get a pint and go to a trad session." Louis Copeland's tailor is another notable business.
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