When I first came to Ireland, the first tourist attraction I wanted to see was an authentic Irish Pub. Well I got over that real quick! Don't get me wrong, I still go to bars and pubs, but that has more to do with my alcohol dependency issues rather than liking the institution.
I will admit that because I use to be a bartender I may have high expectations of how things should work...
I will also admit that since bartenders don't get tips they have no incentive to be a little better then what will get them fired...
But even with those excuses, I have to say that serve in Irish Pubs is crap!
- They never remember your drink (unless you are lucky enough to be drinking Guinness). One of my greatest pleasures is that split second of recognition when you walk into a random bar and the barman ask, "The usual?"
- They never "talk" to you. If you not luck enough to be in a group of people going to a bar, then your screwed since the barman won't talk to you either! Most Irish bars seem to be purposely setup to stop people from talking to one another?? I now there is a historical reason that had to do with the British (It always seems to come back to those bastards :) ) but I will talk more about that in The Layout.
- They are slow..... Not withstanding the Guinness Double Pour (which I think is more PR than anything) Irish Barman are slow!!!!! I remember that I could take 5 orders at a time, dish out the drinks just a fast. You will routinely see bars packed 4 deep with people trying to get drinks and the bar man just sitting there looking stupid!
- They purposely ignore you. While that bar man is looking stupid with the bar packed four deep with people looking for drinks, you will see him looking around the bar, purposely NOT making eye contact. I guess if they don't see you they don't have to serve you!
Very Expensive Drinks
The drinks in Ireland are ungodly expensive! I remember my first time in an Irish bar. I walked in thirsty for some "Good" Irish beer. Walked up to the bar and looked at the taps to see what they had... (Heineken, Carlsberg, Budweiser, Miller, Coors, ... ) I thought, "hell, I came all the way to Ireland for beer I could have gotten in Chicago". then I saw the price list. The beer was TWICE as expensive as it is in Chicago! 5 bucks for a Pint!!!
- All mixers in Ireland cost more than the liquor! It is actually MUCH cheaper to get a Pint of Beer than a Pint of Coke because they don't use soda guns, but rather than over expensive tiny bottles of Coke and Orange Juice! This single fact amazes me! Who cares about the Coke in a Rum and Coke? And if they do care, why not get actual Coca~Cola syrup for the soda guns?? What about pregnant women or alcoholic who might want to join there friends out for a drink. What about Designated Drivers? God knows some of these bars are no where from civilization and public transportation is better in Detroit that in Ireland! (That will become another rant someday)
- All alcohol sales are controlled by a few bar associations which means that the prices you see are almost always the same (with in a few cents of each other)
- The government in it's wisdom decided that Happy Hour was evil and need to be stopped!!
Lack of Beer Varieties
Let me start off by saying that I am a Guinness man, so as long as they have Guinness I don't care! BUT, I am adding this in because of all the shit I hear every day about how crap American beer is. Of course they are talking about Miller and Bud (which are in EVERY single Irish bar as Premium Imports) They have no idea what a MicroBrew is and much less how great they taste. And they themselves only have a few beers which are available at EVERY SINGLE DAMN pub! Absolutely NO variety! But I'm a Guinness man so no problems.
Army of Doorman
- Being a Doorman in both America and Ireland, I believe I have a unique insight to the differences between the two.
Early Closing Hours
The Owners Mindset