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Random fact I discovered the other day. - helen-louise
Random fact I discovered the other day.
You know those fake Irish pubs that exist in places outside Ireland? They have Irish names and menus which talk about the craic, and signs over the door saying Failte, but the staff are Australians, South Africans, New Zealanders or Eastern Europeans just like every other pub in London. And they simply serve Guinness along with the same Budweiser or Stella Artois that other pubs have. Apart from the odd independent, there's a whole chain of them in the UK called O'Neills, and they are about as Irish as my arse+.

Fake British or English pubs are less common, but I've seen a few around the place. There is one in Colorado Springs which listed its menu in the phonebook, and I nearly died laughing at it. Can't remember any of the details now, I was there for alt.polycon 11 in... 2003? But it included such British staples as black bean soup with nachos, along with attempts at actual British food that went a bit wrong and ended up like the "beef trifle" on Friends (Video).

What I really wasn't expecting to find was a fake British pub... in central London. It's called London Pub! No, really. It's just round the corner from College, on Woburn Place. Fear.

+ My arse is actually more Irish than you'd think, given that my mother's maiden name was - well, something I'm not going to tell you here, due to the vast quantity of online bankers and retailers that use mother's maiden name as a security question - but certainly a surname that would turn up in any top 20 of Irish surnames. Though the shape of my arse comes entirely from my Asian grandmother. Still, its genes are some percentage Irish. About the same percentage as those pubs, I reckon.

Current Mood: amused amused

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From: pir Date: 18th September 2010 10:16 (UTC) (Link)
I used to amuse myself with some of the Boston "Irish" by asking them where in Ireland they were from and when it turned out that only one of their great-grandparents was actually Irish... pointing out, in a very English accent, that I'm just as Irish as them. The local Irish pub to me in Boston (which I went into to drink English beer) was actually run by born-in-Ireland-Irish, however.

Zurich has a fake English pub and there are a fair few of them around the US... ex-pats like their creature comforts and beer. They're sometimes the only place you can get passable cider. Didn't expect to see one in London, though.
hobbitbabe From: hobbitbabe Date: 18th September 2010 11:40 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, in Canada there's the Elephant and Castle chain of pseudo-English pubs (we go to one for our pub-knitting night), and the X&Firkin chain (they are apparently also in the US, distinguished there by being Firkin&X) as well as others.

I've been wondering whether I'd have any better luck trying to find Irish-Gaelic conversation partners if I put up a sign in our local Irish-ish pub, than I did when I contacted the Irish Sports and Social Club.

Occasionally I've seen Australian pubs, and I believe there's a Newfoundland pub in Toronto. Sometimes I wonder if there are Canadian pubs in the USA.
From: pir Date: 18th September 2010 15:11 (UTC) (Link)
There is a chain of Aussie pubs in London at least, called Walkabout. There's an Aussie pub in Dublin, too, but it's a bit out of teh way north of the city center by the big cinema. I think it's called the Woolshed.
jinian From: jinian Date: 19th September 2010 23:24 (UTC) (Link)
I've never seen any. Pretty much all of them are cod-Irish, which is a little embarrassing when actual Irish people come visiting.
ailbhe From: ailbhe Date: 18th September 2010 15:49 (UTC) (Link)
There are fake-Irish pubs in Ireland, too, though they often fake up for tourist season and flop back into normality thereafter.
thekumquat From: thekumquat Date: 18th September 2010 16:47 (UTC) (Link)
It was most surreal being in Abu Dhabi, entering a typical bland 5-star hotel, and finding yourself in yet another cod-English/Irish pub in the basement.

Only hotels can have alcohol licences, so every hotel has a pub/US-style sports bar in the basement.

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