Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Irish Pubs Have Been Around Forever -- Especially Now

      There is something about an Irish pub that makes it blend into the background, like something that has always been there, even if the place just opened. Maybe it's because everyone knows what you'll find in an Irish pub: beer, cholesterol-rich food, lots of wood in the decor and a warm, frequently noisy ambiance. So if a new pub opens in town, is not like everybody will be talking about it, because a pub is just a pub, as simple and commonplace as fish and chips.

      Which is why I have to bring to your attention that lately new Irish pubs seem to be popping up all over South Florida, and possibly the world. We now have Fado and Brickell Irish Pub, both in the Brickell Avenue area. (For you readers from around the country and around the world --hey, there might be one of you, right? -- bear with my local spin for a moment.) There's a Playwrights Irish Pub in South Beach and another one in Hallandale, in the new Village at Gulfstream Park. Up in Broward County, J.G. McGuinness opened recently in the town of Weston.
       And there are more, but it's not about how long the list of new pubs is, it's about how it's getting easier to find one in Miami, which wasn't the case before. Until recently Irish pub in Miami-Dade County meant John Martins in Coral Gables, a landmark establishment that seems to have  existed since before Betsy Malone.
       It's also telling that Fado, one of the new pubs around Brickell, is a chain. If you read this really interesting article by Jim Hillibish of Gatehouse News Service, you'll learn that true Irish pubs -- pub, by the way, is short for "public place", don't you love that? -- bear the name and personality of its owner, who typically only owned one pub. You'll learn many other things about the history and tradition of Irish pubs, none of which involves being part of a chain.

       So I pose to you that Irish pubs are becoming trendy, outside of Ireland and outside of Irish-influenced U.S. cities. And not only in South Florida, but around the world, according to this article on Irish pubs invading the world, by Matt Longe of, a travel blog: 
      Given that pubs are meant to be places for public gathering where folks can relax, share rounds, tell jokes and just be folks, that's one invasion that should be well received.