Buck Mulligan’s is named after the first character to appear in one of Ireland’s most famous novels, James Joyce’s Ulysses. For Dublin-born Eamonn Hennessy, it seemed the perfect fit for his Irish whiskey bar and bookstore in Northcote.
Hennessy has worked in bars his whole life, but has always wanted to open a bookshop. So he decided to put the two together.
Eighty per cent of the whiskey offering comes from Ireland, with the rest a mix from Scotland, Japan, America and Australia. Hennessy stocks the complete range from Teeling, the first distillery “to actually distill whiskey in Dublin in over 125 years,” he explains. Newer makers such as Glendalough and Hyde are on the shelf, as are Irish classics Tyrconnell and Knappogue.
There’s a full wine list from mostly Australian and New Zealand vineyards, beer on tap and in bottles – imported and local – and a range of spirits including Irish gin. You’ll also be able to get hot and iced Irish coffee, hot chocolate and chai.
The food menu includes Ploughman’s boards, pork pies and “Clonakilty Bites” – black pudding with fennel bread and relish.
The books – a collection of fiction, poetry and plays – are Irish too. Hennessy wants to introduce Australian literature in the future, with a focus on work by local authors.
There are books for sale, but you can borrow them too from a shelf in a smaller room out the back – called the snug – that’s also stacked with board games. The snug has an antique but fully functioning cast iron stove inside, and it’s where book clubs and whiskey tastings take place. There is also a courtyard out the back.
Buck Mulligan’s: Irish Whiskey and Literature Specialists
217 High Street, Northcote
Mon to Thu, 4pm – late
Fri to Sun, 12pm – late