You know that quaint Irish pub you sometimes visit to have a pint or two? Maybe you will even be stopping by one tomorrow for St. Patty's Day. Chances are, it could be a prefabricated shell.
There's an interesting article in Slate about the faux Irish pub phenomenon.
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. 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.
To wit, they offer five basic styles: The "Country Cottage," with its timber beams and stone floors, is supposed to resemble a rural house that gradually became a commercial establishment. The "Gaelic" design features rough-hewn doors and murals based on Irish folklore. You might, instead, choose the "Traditional Pub Shop," which includes a fake store (like an apothecary), or the "Brewery" style, which includes empty casks and other brewery detritus, or "Victorian Dublin," an upscale stained-glass joint. IPCo will assemble your chosen pub in Ireland. Then they'll bring the whole thing to your space and set it up.
I know I've been in some of them. Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure Thady Con's on Second Ave. is one (in the “Gaelic” mode, I believe).
I'm shocked and disillusioned.
But, as long as the Guinness is real, what the hell.
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