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Author Topic: A Pub Out of a Box: The Irish Pub Export Craze
'lance
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posted 16 March 2006 04:16 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The weirdest thing is that they've even been built in Ireland.

quote:
In the last 15 years, Dublin-based IPCo and its competitors have fabricated and installed more than 1,800 watering holes in more than 50 countries. Guinness threw its weight (and that of its global parent Diageo) behind the movement, and an industry was built around the reproduction of "Irishness" on every continent—and even in Ireland itself. IPCo has built 40 ersatz pubs on the Emerald Isle, opening them beside the long-standing establishments on which they were based.

IPCo's designers claim to have "developed ways of re-creating Irish pubs which would be successful, culturally and commercially, anywhere in the world." To wit, they offer five basic styles: The "Country Cottage," with its timber beams and stone floors, is supposed to resemble a rural house that gradually became a commercial establishment. The "Gaelic" design features rough-hewn doors and murals based on Irish folklore. You might, instead, choose the "Traditional Pub Shop," which includes a fake store (like an apothecary), or the "Brewery" style, which includes empty casks and other brewery detritus, or "Victorian Dublin," an upscale stained-glass joint. IPCo will assemble your chosen pub in Ireland. Then they'll bring the whole thing to your space and set it up. All you have to do is some basic prep, and voilà! Ireland arrives in Dubai. (IPCo has built several pubs and a mock village there.)

...

The concept is but one of the ways in which Ireland has been re-imagined for the consumer. A few decades back, St. Patrick's Day was a relatively quiet day in Ireland. It was a religious holiday; pubs were closed, and no one dyed anything green. A typical Dubliner might attend Mass, eat a big meal with the family, and nod off early. In the '90s, my friends who grew up in Dublin used to go to a hotel on St. Paddy's Day to watch the American tourists sing Irish drinking songs and celebrate excess.

Where there is celebrated excess, there is a market to exploit. In 1995, the Irish government saw potential in international "Irish" revelry. They reinvented the holiday at home to kick-start the tourist season. Now thousands of partiers head to Ireland for the "St. Patrick's Day Season" as Guinness has called this time of year. (It used to be called "March" or, for Irish Catholics, "Lent.") In Dublin, the festival lasts for five days and adds about £60 million to the economy.


Now, this piece seems to rest on some implicit, unexamined and to my mind quite dubious notions about "authenticity." Even so, this kind of thing can still give you vertigo -- not to mention the feeling that you could really, really use a pint of Guinness about now.

These things don't always take root, incidentally. When my wife and I moved to Calgary around four years ago, there were two Irish-style pubs on our street and a third just around the corner. Within a year or so, the two on our street had closed, to be replaced by restaurants.

One of these, in turn, was a Greek restaurant that on Saturday nights encouraged you to shout "Opa!" and hurl plates against the wall in one corner.

[ 16 March 2006: Message edited by: 'lance ]

[ 19 March 2006: Message edited by: 'lance ]


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rasmus
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posted 17 March 2006 02:42 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Baffler had a good article about the whole Irish pub thing a few years ago. It may even be online. Although I think the Baffler finally succumbed to its injuries.
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N.Beltov
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posted 17 March 2006 09:01 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
rasmus raven:The Baffler had a good article about the whole Irish pub thing a few years ago. It may even be online. Although I think the Baffler finally succumbed to its injuries.

The most recent issue has a 2003 copyright date. Not a good sign for continuing publication.

The Baffler


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N.Beltov
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posted 18 March 2006 06:11 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Where there is celebrated excess, there is a market to exploit.

A local watering hole that "honours" St. Patrick's Day did the following last night: 1)drink prices are increased; 2)plastic cups replace glasses and the cups are a lot smaller than the regular "pint" glasses; 3) a Beatles cover band plays the usual English music from the 60's; 4) the pub is generously supplied with stick-on labels of Irish drinks or symbols of Irishness - presumably for suitable expressions of one's ethnicity or one's imagined ethnicity.

No wonder there were so few "regulars". I escaped with my self-esteem intact. ahem.


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Ken Burch
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posted 18 March 2006 08:01 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Given Six Countues history of the past forty years, could not the author of this thread possibly consider using a phrase other than "the Irish Pub EXPLOSION" for the thread title?
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paxamillion
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posted 18 March 2006 08:59 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Having....uh...extensive pub crawling.... I mean touring experience, I can say that most Irish pubs here don't look much like I've seen in Ireland.
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FourteenRivers
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posted 19 March 2006 02:33 AM      Profile for FourteenRivers        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In Montreal these ersatz irish pubs are proliferating - a few years ago there were only two (real Canadian-Irish pubs), and now there are about 10 (mostly of the type mentioned in this article)! Tomorrow being the parade they will all make a lot of money.
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goyanamasu
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posted 19 March 2006 07:54 AM      Profile for goyanamasu     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ken Burch . . . I finally caught the drift of your post about the 'explosion' in this thread's title.

Used to be, Irish pubs served the Irish. I frequented a couple in a US city for a couple years. I had pretty much the same taste as N. Beltov. Any fakery and I'm outa here. Well back then, I'm sorry to say in a way, is that on Saturday nights the mark of a true Irish pub was that the regulars knew the guy who collected funds for the Irish Republican Army. And this stalwart did his rounds along the bar in a manner that was unmistakable.

From another thread I know that N. Beltov has a burn scar in the middle of her attaché case from leaving it on her stove as she babbled. Did you paste one of those cardboard shamrocks over the blemish N. Beltov? I'll be looking for it as incriminating evidence along the parade route today. Hold it high so all can see, please.


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'lance
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posted 19 March 2006 07:35 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Burch:
Given Six Countues history of the past forty years, could not the author of this thread possibly consider using a phrase other than "the Irish Pub EXPLOSION" for the thread title?

Done. Believe me, it wasn't intentional.


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Ken Burch
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posted 19 March 2006 10:08 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks.
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Yst
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posted 19 March 2006 10:58 PM      Profile for Yst     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:

A local watering hole that "honours" St. Patrick's Day did the following last night: 1)drink prices are increased; 2)plastic cups replace glasses and the cups are a lot smaller than the regular "pint" glasses; 3) a Beatles cover band plays the usual English music from the 60's; 4) the pub is generously supplied with stick-on labels of Irish drinks or symbols of Irishness - presumably for suitable expressions of one's ethnicity or one's imagined ethnicity.

No wonder there were so few "regulars". I escaped with my self-esteem intact. ahem.


Yeah, myself, I'd say I fall at about a 5/10 on the Irishness scale, being a red-head of Irish descent insofar as I'm of anything descent, having travelled to and throughout most of the historically compelling portions of the Republic of Ireland on two separate trips, and favouring a local Irish pub over any other drinking establishment I could name, but there's one night of the year I won't even think of going there, and it's St. Patrick's day. For me, on St. Patrick's day, it's the path of least Irishness if I'm out on the town. This year, went to a Chinese dining and drinking establishment with a friend. Don't think any of my self-identifying Irish relatives (the kind who regularly go to ceilis and such) celebrate St. Patrick's day in any way shape or form either.

Why anyone in their right mind would want to go to an Irish pub on St. Patrick's day is quite beyond me.


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Ken Burch
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posted 19 March 2006 11:05 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For those further interested in pursuing this theme, I'd recommend the book "SWEET LIBERTY" by Joseph O'Connor(a young Irish author and, as it happens, Sinead O'Connor's brother, God help the poor bugger...)

In the book(whose basic theme is a contemporary Irishman taking a tour through the U.S. to visit every American town named Dublin)O'Connor meets an Irish American entrepreneur who is putting up U.S.-style "Irish Pubs" IN IRELAND.

If the pickled spirit of Brendan Behan heard of this, he'd be weeping into the ghost of his pint.


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alisea
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posted 19 March 2006 11:10 PM      Profile for alisea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They were lined up halfway down the block from the main Irish pub in downtown Halifax on Friday night, and there were many, many people wandering around the downtown wearing necklaces (that rather looked like leis, and the level of cultural appropriation there made my brain hurt), and Green Moose Antlers.

I am not making this up.

I doubt that Ireland had moose since the last Ice Age.

It was generally nutty around the downtown, but the Green Moose Antlers took the cake.


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