Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Please Enjoy Your Local “Irish Pub Concept.”

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  03.17.06 | 11:04 AM ET

No matter where you are this St. Patrick’s Day, chances are high that you’re near an Irish pub. That’s no accident. “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,” Austin Kelley writes in a fascinating story this week in Slate. “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.”

Kelley tracks the trend through Kazakhstan, the Canary Islands, Dubai and, um, Dublin, and reveals the details of what Guinness calls the “Irish Pub Concept.”

The concept outlines some simple steps to achieve “Irishness”: You’ll want to add Irish music, traditional grub, and “bric-a-brac” such as reproductions of antique spinning wheels, cast irons, and flagons. Authentic employees are also a must. “Although it is possible to recreate the feel of a true Irish pub without Irish staff—we don’t recommend it. No Irish pub is complete without the friendly warmth, humor and advice of a true Irish bartender.” If there aren’t any affable Irish in your town, rest assured, Guinness will put you in touch with employment agencies.

One of the keys to success, Kelley writes, is the pub’s name. Joke names like “McSwiggins or Filthy McNasty’s” are out. Gaelic phrases and family names are in because “authenticity, apparently, is key.”

Of course it is. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, wherever you are.

3 Comments for Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Please Enjoy Your Local “Irish Pub Concept.”

Ron Mader 03.17.06 | 4:51 PM ET

Brilliant! Would it possible to include ‘authenticity’ in the weblog categories?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

mike 03.20.06 | 1:29 AM ET

Ha! Interesting idea, Ron. I’m sure we could stir up a lot of interesting feedback about what’s authentic and what isn’t when it comes to travel experiences.

TambourineMan 03.19.07 | 11:44 AM ET

I’ve never been to Ireland so I don’t know about my local pubs, but I’ll vouch for the authenticity of my Sunday morning hangover.

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