Most people go to a bar or a pub for a few drinks and a bite to eat.
And they usually meet friends there or go together as a group.
But in Ireland it’s a whole different story.
Great Irish pubs offer three things – great drinks, food and atmosphere.
But there is more.
A great pub for Irish people is a gathering place.
It’s your home away from home.
As a rule you don’t entertain at home because many Irish apartments are too small for that.
So a great pub is the alternative.
And that is so ingrained with people that for a lot of Irish people it has become a cultural heritage, a heritage they happily continue to embrace.
But I did not know any of this, until Irish friends told me.
I was surprised because unbeknown to me I already had become a regular at one of those great Irish pubs.
It was a small place – O’Donoghue’s was its name.
It was cozy and comfortable, the customers, Irish folks hanging out with friends, enjoying a few drinks, having a bite to eat, telling stories to each other.
The atmosphere was akin to having people over for dinner at your place.
It got to the point where you would see the same people over and over again.
Also the bartenders and wait staff knew you by name and would welcome you, often saying, “nice to see you again,” “how was your day?”, that sort of thing.
So before I really knew it I had become part of that great Irish heritage.
And nowhere in my world travels did I find anything similar.
And that’s what makes Irish pubs the best in the world.