The literary giant with which Davy Byrnes is synonymous is of course James Joyce. A regular visitor to the premises Joyce developed a special relationship with the warm but abstemious proprietor. Joyce’s ‘Dubliners’ has mention of Davy Byrnes, but the Joycean character with which the premises are most associated is Leopold Bloom, of ‘Ulysses’:
“He entered Davy Byrnes. Moral pub. He doesn’t chat, stands a drink now and then. But in a leap year once in four. Cashed a cheque for me once.”
Inside Bloom meets his friend Nosey Flynn who engages Davy Byrne in chat and Bloom partakes of his famous “gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of Burgundy.” Nosey Flynn then asks Davy Byrne for a tip for the Ascot Gold Cup, to which the proprietor retorts:
“I’m off that Mr Flynn, Davy Byrne answered. I never put anything on a horse.”
Since ‘Ulysses’ publication in 1922 there has been a constant literary pilgrimage to Davy Byrnes. The recent revival of Bloomsday, 16th June, has seen a wide literary and international tourist audience attracted to the premises who wish to savour, like Leopold Bloom, a gorgonzola sandwich and glass of burgundy.