Thursday, March 16, 2006

The faux Irish pub revolution & the Texas Wine Industry

"Whether you are in Kazkhstan or the Canary Islands, you can now hear the lilt of an Irish brogue over the sound of the Pogues as you wait for your Guinness to settle. "

Happy St. Patrick's Day! This is an article written by Austin Kelley in Slate Magazine. It explains the development in the early 1990's of the "Irish Pub Concept" by the Irish Pub Company. The evolution of modern Irish acceptance of St. Patrick's Day, American-style revelry is also detailed.

I've conducted my own fairly extensive research into this phenomenon. My studies began at The Dubliner on Greenville Avenue. But the Dub is the real Nellie. It's featured in today's Dallas Morning News. Having celebrated many a St. Patrick's Day at the Dubliner, I can attest to its authenticity as a proper Irish drinking establishment. (Well - I've never been to Ireland in person - but I had Astral Weeks & The Unforgettable Fire on my headphones constantly as a kid.) So visits to an Irish pub were embraced with open arms. And on the many St. Patrick's Day celebrations that I've witnessed at the Dub, it's always fun to see the Irish waitstaff observe up close what we Americans do with their religious holiday. They positively revel in it.

I've seen faux Irish implemented everywhere - Dallas, Austin, Las Vegas, Miami, Chicago. Our very own Trinity Hall was built, assembled, dismantled in Ireland & shipped over to Mockingbird Station in order that we here in Dallas also enjoy our very own variety of "craic". From the article: "IPCo will assemble your chosen pub in Ireland. Then they'll bring the whole thing to your space and set it up. All you have to do is some basic prep, and voilĂ !"

Other favorite local establishments overflowing with Irish "craic":

The Old Monk

The Londoner

The Idle Rich

And Guinness has even taken the step of reaching into your homes with the Surger!

The other mentionable article is from CNN/Southern Living & it's about the burgeoning Wine Industry in the Texas Hill Country. My wife & I were down in Fredericksburg in February & conducted our very own sampling of the local varietals. It was splendid. And it's nice to see it highlighted in the national press. Too bad we didn't take the Texas Wine Trail back home.