Our Neighbour –  The Iveagh Markets


One of the Riddler Restaurants favorite neighbors is The Iveagh Markets on Dublin’s Francis Street and Lamb Alley.

The market has a long history linked with both the Irish aristocracy and the street workers of the Liberties.

The building is of high architectural importance and was founded in 1880 by Lord Iveagh or Edward Guinness of the famous Guinness brewery.

Before 1902, hundreds of street traders worked on the north side of St Patrick Cathedral which is now a park selling food and clothes to Dubliners.

The Guinness family, namely Benjamin Guinness was also instrumental in saving St Patrick’s cathedral from total collapse.

The initiative by Guinness was to create a place for Dublin market traders to operate in a sheltered area instead of the

open outdoor location beside the Cathedral which was harsh with cold and rain.

When the markets opened it was a hub for locals to meet and buy supplies.

Iveagh Markets

It was divided in to two areas inside, a wet market selling fish, meat, vegetables  etc and a dry market selling clothes and household goods.

Many restaurants in Dublin would use the Iveagh Markets to bulk buy for the restaurants.

The building itself was designed by Fredrick G.Hicks .  The site was bought by the Guinness family which was once a brewery called Sweetmans.

The site was bought in 1890, work began in 1902 and the markets were opened to the public in 1906.

The Guinness family spared no expense in the design of the building which is cladded with beautiful red brick and

people entering the building from Francis Street are met with an elegant Greek style doorway.

Looking around the façade of the building you will see faces carved in stone, illustrating different cultures from around the world, one of which gives a cheeky wink!

Iveagh Markets faces

It’s been over 100 years since the doors of the Iveagh Markets opened to the public and through the decades

that have come after saw many economic recessions,  civil war and poverty which hit Ireland and in particular Dublin’s Liberties.

We have sadly seen the Iveagh Markets run down so much that in the 1990’s it was closed to the public.

Graffiti lined the red brick walls and weeds grow freely inside.

Iveagh Markets Graffitii

Over the last number of years the area in and around the Liberties has seen a revolution with the opening of such places as

Teelings and Pearse Lyons Distilleries and of course The Riddler Restaurant.

Dublin County Council have now taken control of the building from a developer who promised

20 years ago to turn it around but failed to do anything.   The council have already cleaned the walls of graffiti and

are reinstating the markets back to its glory days with a vision of it becoming Dublin’s version of

St Georges market in Belfast which is an amazing space for traders of artisan food, drink and crafts to sell their goods.

Iveagh markets

The Riddler Restaurant was inspired by the area it’s located in.

We are dedicated to serving modern Irish food and we have become one of the best places to eat in Dublin’s Liberties.


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