Just add Guinness: the strange world of prefab "Irish pubs"

The Irish Pub Company offers Irish pub interiors in six styles: "Modern," "Brewery," "Shop," "Country," "Celtic" and "Victorian." Choose your package and they'll ship you a bar, as well as "flooring, decorative glass, mirrors, ceiling tiles, light fixtures, furniture, signage, and bric-a-brac."

They're partnered with Guinness, and ship ready-to-assemble pubs all over the world: in 27 years, they've outfitted more than 500 pubs, including establishments in Russia and Kazakhstan.

ÓL Irish Pubs, a competitor of the Irish Pub Company, goes further, building and installing pubs, including ones in private homes and on cruise ships, and participating in menu development.

McNally, the effective grandfather of the movement, is a formalist, and everything he manufactures and sells is Irish-made. Wood and other materials are sourced from an array of indigenous suppliers and fashioned into custom-built bars and fixtures at IPC workshops. This happens to be true of most peers in the space. “I don’t consider them a competitor if they don’t do that,” he says flatly.

On top of his insistence upon use of materials derived exclusively from Ireland, McNally tends to resist anything locally sourced. In China, some of his clients were adamant about the use of their own suppliers and builders. McNally says it led his colleagues to pull their hair out, but they eventually relented. The results can be mixed. On one occasion, McNally provided a drawing for a decorative table fashioned out of a barrel. The client in question, having elected to go some of the way alone, whittled a tree into a solid barrel. The story makes him laugh.

Meet the Companies Literally Dropping ‘Irish’ Pubs in Cities Across the World [Siobhán Brett/Eater]

(via Marginal Revolution)

(Image: Irish Pub Company)

Notable Replies

  1. The Scottish version comes with some bloodied teeth to scatter around the floor for that extra hint of authenticity.

  2. They can make their pubs in whatever style they like, but it isn't a real Irish pub until they have a lock in with bottles of home made poitín.

  3. I always say they're just as authentically Irish as this:

  4. Ah, but were they true Scottish pubs?

  5. Ah the sort of Irish Pub where I can get those rare Irish delicacies. The quesadilla and buffalo wings.

    Meanwhile this sort of thing always reminds me that there's a street up near Penn Station in NYC that has 4 Irish Pubs right next to each other. There is the dirty one that's always empty, the bog standard one, the run down one where actual Irish and British people watch "football", And the fancy expensive one. I end up on that run from time to time because any one of those bars are a decent place meet people coming to town by train. You just sort of wander over and pick the one with the appropriate number of seats open. It's always weird figuring out where the people you're meeting are though.

    "I'm in the Irish Bar"

    "Which one?"

    "There's more than one?"

    "Describe it to me."

    "It smells kind of funny"

    We're down to two options.

    "Is the guy sitting nearest to you American?"


    "That'd be the shitty one then."

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