Belfast The Rock Bar
About The Rock Bar
The O’Neills had this bar on the Falls Road built in 1903. The façade which stretches around to the side is not too unlike another more famous one in town called The Crown. The reason for this is because of the Italian style decoration that makes this quite a unique bar both inside and out.
The O’Neills took advantage of a workers strike during the construction of Belfast City Hall during the early 1900s. Italian stonemasons were called in to create the beautiful façade now over 100 years old and still in good condition. The comical faces as capitals are in particularly good state.
In fact, the stones and materials used in the construction are the same as those used on the City Hall. There’s surely a tale to tell for this too as the exclusive materials designated for the City Hall somehow ended up on this side of town which was probably no mean feat to carry off.
Inside is equally artistic as the small cubicles along one side provide an unusual but cosy atmosphere. The spirit of one here is clearly local although anyone is made welcome.
Upstairs is the lounge room. There is actually a public entrance rather than this back one. Live music is often staged here.
One not so well known fact about this bar is that due to its unique position along this road in the past a local funeral director used to hire men for the day. When somebody died without family or friends the funeral director would visit this bar and ask for a certain number of men to come to the church and carry the coffin so as at least to give the dead person a respectful sending-off. The men’s pay of course would be a few creamy pints after their duty was fulfilled.