Rotterdam Bar (CLOSED)

20 Comments | THIS VENUE IS NO LONGER OPEN | Last Updated 10th May 2024 | Added 10th April 2005 | Edit Details | Edit Photos


The Rotterdam has been saved from demolition and now has live music seven days a week.
The Rotterdam Bar was used as a hold for prisoners prior to deportation to Australia, and despite a few more recent fires, has stuck to its old world feel.

Small and very cosy, with heavy wooden doors, whitewashed walls and oceanic paraphernalia hanging from the walls, it's intimate and interesting.

This bar offers a wide variety of quality entertainment seven days a week. The bar is now run by the original owner of fifteen years ago, Chris Rodddy and maintains the spirit of Sailortown. Your guaranteed a warm welcome and there is always a real coal fire lit, even during the summer to give you that home from home feeling.

The Rotterdam is situated on Pilot Street at Clarendon Dock, and you can sit outside on summer evenings and enjoy the atmosphere of this old area of the city known as Sailortown. Enjoy one of the best pints of Guinness in town, with a warm fire,live music and great craic, a must for any visitor to the city, see ya there.

Information and Contact Details

Traditional Bar
52-54 Pilot Street
County Antrim
Post Code

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Customer Comments and Reviews of Rotterdam Bar

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I remember watching local Bréag group playing at the Rotterdam pub back in 1998. I liked the place (and the group, which I knew from other concerts).

Submitted by Xaun from the Basque Country on 27th March 2018

I am confused, Rotterdam is now closed or still in operation? I used to frequent ti very often when living in Belfast a few years ago and had some great nights. I am foreigner and on first couple of visits bar tennders were not extremely friendly, -there seem to be a "certain intimidate circle of friends" frequenting the place- but after my third or fourth visit, I was becoming "member of the club" and always got a warm welcome. A very cosy place, and clientelle were quite a characters... I so much miss this place. I plan a trip in Belfast latter in the year and it is definately on my list if it is still up and running!

Submitted by Sonia on 1st February 2012

have been there very often;

good place, good serving and very good music, most of the time.

hope to come back.

greetings henk

Submitted by henk m.s. St. Michael on 24th December 2010


i dont think its closed i watched doghouse play live last saturady, crackin wee bar :D

Submitted by steve belfast on 28th April 2010

Another great Belfast landmark gone. Every redeveloped dockland area is an investors wasteland a ghost town after the sun goes down. Penthouses and underground car parks with security codes and nightwatchmen. You would have thought that the 'new belfast' would have valued having a great little boozer on their doorstep.

Submitted by Knows the score... on 10th December 2009

Sorry to hear it's closed. Back in the 1990s it was the best bar in Belfast.

Submitted by Jane from Elsewhere on 10th November 2009

Unfortunately closed now :( If you haven't been here, you've missed out on a unique belfast pub! Was a great venue for all types of music from around the world!

Submitted by nap on 16th May 2009

cant wait to go there again!

Submitted by chrisy mc culagh on 13th October 2008




Submitted by RAE SIMPSON on 27th September 2008

The rotterdam has a fantastic atmosphere, excelent music.

Submitted on 27th August 2008

Best avoided and should have been knocked down...

On recommendation (need to ditch that friend) trudged through building sites, gangs of kids to the Rotterdam. Very quiet as a band just getting going - seemed odd for a music weekend in Belfast.

Only after drinks were ordered did bar staff ask for Â�£6 cover charge - no mention anywhere on pub or before - assumed it was a scam as we weren't Irish. Left drinks and left the pub - with a sour but dry taste in the mouth.

Many many better bars in town - avoid this.

Submitted on 25th August 2008

The review by Pub Spy Reader is fairly accurate. The majority of the Sunday Night Session musicians and their followers became somewhat disgruntled by a number of recent events at the Rotterdam and decided to move to a new venue ... dirty glasses, tables not regularly wiped and toilets not regularly checked tend to be sufficient to cause regular clientele to move elsewhere.

Submitted by Christopher on 7th July 2008

Ludwig's Sunday Night Acoustic Sessions are no longer being held at the Rotterdam Bar. Starting on Sunday 6th July this event will be taking place at Whites Tavern, 2-4 Winecellar Entry, Belfast, BT1 1QN

Submitted by Christopher on 1st July 2008

After reading a pub spy article about the Rotterdam, I thought I had to try it out. The walls were not whitewashed as mentioned in the article, the place was very dark as it was all dark red inside. The doorman wasn't the friendliest, and inside wasn't what I was expecting. I had heard before that this place was full of characters and musicians. Maybe I picked a bad night, no characters and very little drink. As for the music, there are better venues, but I did love the real fire.

Submitted by Pub Spy Reader on 5th May 2008

A brilliant bar which is now managed by Connor and Chris Roddy. Nigel Martyn looks after most of the band bookings and Ludwig O'Neill looks after the Sunday night Acoustic Sessions. If you are a budding guitar player or play the blues harp why not come along some Sunday and join in the craic. The word is spreading and a great many people are now visiting the Rotterdam Bar for the first time. By the way they sell a good variety of drinks including Whitewater Belfast Ale and Guinness ... you can even get an excellent cup of coffee.

Submitted by Christopher on 18th November 2007

Thank god you can go tro a Bar, have a real fire, genuine people on both sides of the counter and decent live music. If youre a visitor to the city, skip the Crown and experience a real night in Belfast with local people from all parts of the city, North, South, East and West. Best pint of Guinnes in town.

Submitted by Belfast drinker on 25th September 2007

The Rotterdam Pub: �£5.00 cover charge. Loud five piece band on four feet by four feet "stage". Only pints available on draught was Guinness. Bottled beer came from a cooler which wasn't working, in other words all beer was at room temperature. Sweaty white washed walls and people. Bar staff smug and unfriendly. A BIG deal trying to get home from the Rotterdam as you must rely on a trusted taxi service even though the Rotterdam have a doorman who will page a taxi for you, so long as you are not headed for one of the nearby working class areas of Tiger's Bay or the New Lodge in which case the doorman quotes the name of a cab company which services these areas and tells you to call them.

Checking online I learned that the owners have invented a new history of this pub. Did you know that it was once used to transport people from Belfast to Australia? No? Me either.

Bring on the wreckers ball.

Submitted by Pub Spy on 1st September 2007

as soon as the rotterdam closed we started a campaign to save this piece of our musical history

we have succeeded in ensuring the bar remains open for another year

you can see more details at

Submitted by stevie on 7th July 2007

very disapointing closed great shame to the owners one of the few last live bars

Submitted by damian on 26th May 2007

Fantastic bar. Great craic and great music

Submitted by Dave on 16th May 2007

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