Goan Shack: The Pub Grub

Waxy O’Connor’s former home has been reincarnated as a delightfully barmy Goan pub Reviews

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Oh my – look what’s become of Waxy’s. For those of you not in the know, Waxy O’Connor’s is an Irish pub brand that stretches across the globe from London to Texas. In Dubai, the outlet was renowned as one of the emirate’s rowdiest, old-school, spit’n’ sawdust-style pubs, with a chaotic brunch and, in its heyday, a legion of regulars. Said heyday must have ended, because midway through last year Waxy’s closed for good. And this is what we now have instead.

Goan Shack: The Pub Grub. Eh? We hate to be linguistic pedants, but we wouldn’t be journalists if we didn’t point out that the name makes no sense conceptually (Goa = Indian; ‘Pub grub’ = British colloquialism) or linguistically. And what’s with the colon? Did they think they were naming an action film? ‘Crisis at Midtown Café: Invasion of the Caesar Salad’? If they did, perhaps ‘The Bar is Back: Attack of the Bizarre Furnishings’ would have been the most fitting name. The venue looks as though someone on a sugar high was let loose on a flea-market shopping spree, lobbing their acquired booty at different corners of the bar at random. There are palm trees, a street light, a wall-mounted pay-style telephone, a fishing net, a gramophone and walls of vinyl records, plus more assorted junk than we can count – and that’s just the bar.

Former Waxy’s regulars will be alarmed to learn that the larger half of the room has been taken up with a new fishing-themed dining area serving – get this – ‘GOAstal delights’. We can only think this dichotomy is what they were trying to get across with the weird name, but surely it must have occurred to someone that naming a Goan restaurant ‘Pub Grub’ was likely to leave lots of angry punters wondering why they’re more likely
to be served a fish curry than a steak and kidney pie.

A daily two-for-one happy hour from 6pm until 9pm makes the normally Dhs36 hops rather more appealing. When we visited early one weekend evening there were a few regulars being entertained by an Elton John DVD, but the manager promised things would pick up later when the pop/rock band come onstage, before declaring, ‘We serve the best Goan food in Dubai.’

Despite that flair of arrogance, we couldn’t help but be seduced by the sheer barminess of this place. While it’s unlikely to win any awards any time soon, it has a low-key charm and friendly air that make it one of the nicest places to drink on rowdy Bank Street. We just wish they’d thought a little harder about the name.

By Rob Garratt
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews bars anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: Ascot Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 352 0900
  • Travel: Khalid Bin Waleed Street
  • Times: Open daily noon-4pm, 6pm-3am

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Goan Shack: The Pub Grub On The Map

User reviews

  • Users voted this bar/club most suitable for: Food served

User reviews:

Posted by: Jay on 12 Feb ' 14 at 09:50
  • Would you go back to this bar/club? No

We were greatly overcharged. The waiter was not clear about anything and just kept on getting drinks. he took away the menu too. The place is good but the staff is just horrible.

Posted by: Demee on 26 Sep ' 13 at 13:59
  • Best for: Food served
  • Would you go back to this bar/club? No

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

I own an airline in Dubai, therefore found out this Restaurant and go there afternoon and sometime with my clients, but today had very bad experience with Mr. Antonio and the other bar waiter who was sitting and playing games on his mobile when I asked him standing next to him how old this place is ? I was sitting at the counter and they all left and were attending their favorite customers , Is this service! I liked your place but now have to take my clients to another place only the Russian lady is very polite and well spoken.

Posted by: Arun abraham on 10 Mar ' 13 at 16:02

excellent ambience and wonderful goan food makes this the place to be for a typical goan dinner . the band was decent and service was top notch

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