Meet the Companies Literally Dropping ‘Irish’ Pubs in Cities Across the World
The walls of the bar are covered in old art, photographs of Ireland, and yellowing posters in frames. A pair of hurleys, the flat ash stick of the Gaelic game, are tacked above the door frame. The bar’s otherwise full of dust-coated bottles of bygone whiskeys and stouts, musical instruments, and familiar ridged glass partitions that gracefully generate several spaces where there might have been just one.
Christy Moore, beloved grandfather of contemporary Irish folk music, hums over the speakers. The manager — who, pleasingly, shares a first name with Moore — flits warmly and easily from bar to table, genially, and in a Donegal accent, asking about the general well-being of diners and drinkers. Notably, there are few shamrocks, in any form or medium — they, along with leprechauns, are generally derided as emblematic of a very loose grip on Ireland and “Irishness.”
The Auld Dubliner — small, dark, and convincing, with a flat, matte, unassuming facade (red and yellow lettering over black paint, on wood) — rests between a heavily illuminated branch of T-Mobile and a “dueling piano café” on a street approximately 5,000 miles from the place invoked in its name. Almost every part of the bar the eye falls on — from the stocky tables and the upholstered chairs to the floor tiling and the mock oil lamps dangling from the ceiling — were railed into the unit in Long Beach, California, from a 40-foot container that spent between three and five weeks at sea.
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