The Explosion of the McPub: Desecrating Centuries of Irish Pubbery

How can World Hum get this so wrong?

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Recent years have seen the rise of what Guinness calls the Irish Pub Concept. Diaego, the parent company of the famed Irish beermaker, as well as the Irish Pub Company and others, see the Irish pub as a way of spreading “Irishness” across the globe, often by exporting the materials necessary for an “authentic” Irish pub””the music, the staff, the beer, etc.””to Dubai, Kazakhstan and other seemingly unlikely places. The rise has led to cries that such bars are becoming the McDonald’s of the pub trade, which could have some merit. But more significant, it seems, the Irish pub represents an effort to connect people through something the parts of the world that drink alcohol can appreciate””a night out in a welcoming place, accompanied by a full, creamy pint.

Faux Irish pubs represent a Disney-fication of the sacred, time-honored traditions of everything genuine Irish pubs in Ireland stand for. They’re increasingly prevalent here in New England, with McPubs such as RiRa dotting cities from Providence to Portland. Let’s be honest and call this bogus “Irish Pub Concept” what it is – a money-making gimmick.

I shamefully admit to visiting them from time to time. And then quickly heading home to scrub myself with a Brillo pad like the shower scene in The Crying Game. They’re just so … wrong.

Founding Editor

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