Why Irish themed bars are always shite and should be avoided like the plague
God I hate Irish themed bars, they are generally soul-less places, tat everywhere, and ran by people who have no idea about class or Irish culture. There are no Irish themed bars in Ireland so why are they so fucking popular!!! It’s the mcdonaldisation or starbucking of the bar world.
What is this Orishness that one can see in these bars – bicycles hanging from the rafters, turf in the fire, Guinness memorabilia, ancient books on shelves, shamrocks and Sheleighs on the wall, and old pictures of Ireland back in the day are everywhere? All this is a plague.
A good marker for me is if it’s called an Irish pub then it’s not an Irish pub. Or if it has a real tacky name (see above photo), or pseudo – Irish name then it’s a big no no. Have you ever seen those god damn awful Irish themed bars in London, “O’ Neills”, Christ on a bike they are woeful places to be. Just because you stick up a poster of “Irish doorways” or “Pubs of Ireland” doesn’t mean I have the urge to drink in your establishment. Fuck off!
First off, why the Irish? Well Ireland has a big reputation for drinking and alcohol – Guinness, whiskey, good sessions, the craic and all that, and deservedly so. We have the St. Patricks day thing as well and, of course, the Irish music, which helps.
A real Irish pub when it’s on form is one of the best places to be when the music is playing, the drink is flowing, and the conversations are enlivening. Basically they are just like any other pub, with normal pub names, selling normal beer, and where normal people drink in. So what makes them Irish then? Mostly its the clientele. Pretty much any night could be a good session, musicians can crop out of anywhere, no set list, nothing is planned, go with the flow, no one has to prove how Irish one is, you just are, that’s it. Atmosphere is informal, friendly, and the people running them are genuine
Now a lot of Irish people do run Irish themed bars abroad, and have Irish staff, and they sometimes do cater for the ex pat community, and a lot of the original ones that first appeared were decent places to drink in. And to be fair the Irish do play the Paddywhackery card as well, when it suits (Jesus just look at any Irish person ever to work for BBC). The Orishness is played to a tee sometimes, but at least kept in check most of the time or to a bare minimum.
But then it seemed to get out of hand, and every new bar in a town was an Oirish bar – people were just taking the Mick (literally!), they know it’s a joke, or at least they should admit so. These bars cater for the tourist, the person who isn’t a heavy or serious drinker, the hipster, and the wanker, basically. Too afraid to head down town to the more edgy part of town, or drink with real people and drink where there might be some real atmosphere, they would much rather drink in an Oirish bar. Well it’s a safe choice as you know what to expect and you won’t get shouted at or molested!
Don’t forget the food as well, ha ha, fish and chips, loads of fucking potatoes and an Irish breakfast. Ha don’t make me puke. When I was a nipper the only food you could get in a bar was a bag of crisps and maybe some hang sandwiches!
I prefer the good old Irish bars of yonder year; dark brooding places, a bit dodgy, an atmosphere of aggression in the air, with horse racing non stop on the TV, old men in the corner ranting away to nobody in particular, no music blaring out except for the Dubliners on an endless loop, and when it hits a certain hour the madness begins, but always when would that madness begin? And the toilets? Ha, well better not go there!
So what can we do about it all then? Well don’t frequent these places. If it screams Orishness then don’t go in! Please! Enough decent bars all over the world are dying due to this infestation of Paddywhackery.
And will someone please tell the yanks to stop calling it St Pattys day!!!!!!