Posts Tagged ‘london pubs’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on March 24, 2010 at 6:35 am
Filed under: Irish pubs, london pubs

Downfall of the fake Irish pub?

I don’t usually look at London Stock Exchange news announcements for information on London nightlife. But the strategic review announced by Mitchells & Butlers yesterday was quite interesting, if you read between the lines.

Amsterdam has already made its mind up on Irish pubs, or so it seems from this pic!

M&B is going to concentrate on food brands – and it’s likely to cull the pub business. Though the statement doesn’t name them, that looks like bad news for two brands – All Bar One and O’Neills, the ‘Irish’ bar chain.

It’s too early to say whether that means closures of individual bars, or possibly the disposal of the entire estate, and brokers’ notes so far aren’t giving the odds on what is going to happen.

But I wonder whether this is the beginning of the end for the fake Irish pub?

Certainly evidence from my neck of the woods suggests that real pubs and ‘one off’ bars – the kind where the landlord is as much the attraction as the beer, the ones with a live band on Thursdays or a classic film showing on Sunday afternoon – are doing much better than the chains. I think consumers are beginning to want something much more real, much more authentic than the fake-Irish of Guinness with shamrock shapes in the foam on top and leprechauns hiding behind every corner.

If you want a real Irish pub, go to Ireland – or one of the few real Irish pubs in London, like the Auld Shellelagh in Stoke Newington [map], where old Irishmen still make a Guinness last three hours…

Photo by Liber on flickr

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