I am a New Zealander.
We like to travel and we like to drink, beer mostly.
Ironically I’ve never been to Ireland, mainly because it’s never attracted me.
England, Scotland and Wales yes.
Compared to France they were mildly interesting places although language was always an issue – in Scotland in particular.
Large tracts of Western Europe, Five countries in Asia, Pacific Islands, Australia and six odd states of America (may be more if I took time to list them)
These are places I’ve been to.
Everywhere you go around the world from Brussels to Baltimore, like a ribald version of Starbucks, there’s an Irish Pub lurking.
So what is the global appeal of Irish Pubs?
How do people like me who have never been to Ireland even know what a real Irish pub is like?
Are their very existence off home soil symptomatic of the fact all other ‘local’ bars from Alasaka to Australia are simply crap?
In my experience Irish Bars are similar to American food franchises in that they are all formulated clichés.
The ones in Christchurch are no different.
Wood panelling, dingy lighting, sticky carpet, a few photos of things Irish on walls and Guinness on tap is about the extent of it.
There may be an ex-pat ‘real’ Irishman behind the bar as a bonus.
This is hardly a winning formula.
At my typical local N.Z Tavern I am only one of ten people that regularly drink Guinness, along with most dark stout varieties it’s hardly a mainstream tipple.
Guinness alone can’t be the drawing point.
By my recollection the Irish themselves aren’t say as friendly as the Thai or Fijian people I’ve meet either, supposed friendliness being one of their selling points.
Kiwis are friendly as well but I would run a mile if I saw a Kiwi pub on my travels.
The only reason I can think of for Irish bars popularity is: they attract English speakers.
It’s like a tourist who wouldn’t opt for McDonalds at home but sees some safety in consuming the crap overseas.
Irish Bars will put on ‘White Man’ sporting pursuits punters understand the rules of and the players names.
Is there another reason I have missed why Irish Bars are so popular?
Personally they don’t enthuse me.
Who wants to go into a dull, stinky pub on a nice day?
PS: Don’t get me on Irish Dancing either!