Question about Irish Pub Culture

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Question about Irish Pub Culture

Post by Quork on Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:19 pm

Well, the question is obviously one for Graymac, but as the answer might be interesting for more people, I'll write it here instead of using a PM. So: I was just sitting in my local irish pub, enjoying my after-work Kilkenny, when I noticed a big brass bell hangig above the counter. I haven't noticed it before, but it obviously isn't new there. So: Is this only some decoration or is there some story or custom to it? I know there are nations, where there is a small table bell on the counter, and when it is sounded (is that the correct past form...?) this means the person soundig it is paying a round of beer; I don't remember where that's the case any more.
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Re: Question about Irish Pub Culture

Post by johnsinden on Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:55 pm

It can only be the infamous "Time Gentlemen Please" bell, regularly used in the old days to remind the locals that they had 10 minutes (by law) to drink up and leave the premises.  I can't remember the last time I heard it, nowadays I've had enough long before the bell sounds..............................!
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Re: Question about Irish Pub Culture

Post by graymac on Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:27 pm

I can only speak of experience in the rural west of Ireland. East of the Shannon is foreign! The vulgar sound of a bell and a landlord hollering, "last orders" or "time, gentlemen, please" would get the same reaction in an Irish bar as you might expect if the queen farted the national anthem on the telly at Christmas. Rare and surprising.
It's changed a bit since I moved here 16 years ago, though not all that much. I was here nearly three years before I realised there actually were licensing hours. I have often left the pub about two or three in the morning, by no means being the last one out. My discovery of the "closing time" existing was in a pub in --------, Co Sligo, where I was in the company of some other musicians enjoying a traditional seisiun with a dozen or so customers in it as well at about three am. The barman had a "tip off" that the Guards (cops) were going to call shortly, so we all slipped out the back door and across the field!
Customers can be fined for being "found on" after hours as can the owner. The hours are later than was generally permitted in the UK. The usual practice at closing time is for the curtains and shutters to be closed and usually some adjustment to the lighting. The barman will stop serving (unless there's going to be a "shut in") and its usually left for the customers to drink up and feck off without any other intervention - certainly nothing as uncivilised as the English pubs where the ethos is too often, "we've 'ad yer money - now bugger orf out of it!"

Irish "themed" pubs are common enough all over the world. I have also visited Irish and German "themed" pubs when I lived in England. I did not believe them to be particularly authentic, so as a rule I think you need to be in the right country to enjoy a national themed watering hole.
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Re: Question about Irish Pub Culture

Post by Quork on Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:18 pm

Not having been in Ireland yet I obviously cant's tell... It's mentionworthy though that Irish Pubs, at least in Germany, are in most cases operated by Irishmen. The same is true for "my" pub, except for one lady. Also, even though they have many local customers, the main purpose is to be a meeting point for irish people, and those are found regularily. So probably the pubs are quite authentic. Also note on thing; the irish people has a very big diaspora. There's only one more nation that relevantly spread around the world, that's the polish people (the term "Polonia" is often used, which includes all Polish abroad, but still the most relevant group are later generations of emigrants from the 19th century), and you won't find them nearly as easily as the Irish, as the Polonia is far more quite and seclusive. You hardly notice them, except for the most dense region (Chicago). Well, here you have it again, I say "them" and not "us" myself :shock:So, yeah, probably, irish pubs abroad would be nearly the only really authentic national themed establishments, as they are the only ones among the popular pubs etc. which are still aimed at their original nation. "German", "Japanese", "Indian", "general Asian" restaurants, pubs etc. on the other hand are all aimed at the local population and thus are (greatly) unauthentic. If one wants to eat authentic food of other cultures, in an authentic atmosphere, one needs to search for usually unknown, unadvertised establishments lying somewhere outside any central eating or shopping zones with mostly "original" customers. Might happen though you wouldn't feel very welcome there, many of them just don't want to have outsiders disturb their peace.
I don't know how it is in other countries, in Germany one can have luck though even in popular restaurants; in some you can ask for "the other menue, please" and you'll get authentic food. Especially where the diverse asian cuisines are involved, the unadapted European should only do this if they will be near a toilet in the following hours, 'cause what you'll get is really different from what you're used.
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Re: Question about Irish Pub Culture

Post by rick1984 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:04 am

had some good times in irish pubs in koln and nerinburg.

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