Warming up at Washington D.C.’s Dubliner

This week, in continued celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day, the American Public House Review heads to our nation’s capitol to visit perhaps Washington D.C.’s most famous public house, the Dubliner.  If you are looking to hobnob with the politicos, this is the place to be.

dubliner-entrance

An Irish Tavern that keeps true to its heritage with great atmosphere and live Celtic music, the Dubliner has become the place for the D.C. recognizables to come and unwind with a pint.  In the days leading up to the Inauguration, MSNBC chose this pub as almost its home base of operations.  I was proud to see the network recognize what we here at the APHR have always know, if you want to find the soul of a town you must start your search in the tavern.

So click here for the story and to join Chris Poh as he seeks shelter from the snow and ice of an Atlantic winter in Washington D.C. with a happy and warm ending at the Dubliner, the capitol city’s most renowned Irish tavern.

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Published in: Uncategorized on March 20, 2009 at 6:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!

In Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is considered a holy day.  The celebration marking the death of their country’s patron saint, the man credited with bringing Catholicism to Ireland, is a family and church day.  But here in America, where the world’s first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was held in 1762 by Irish soldiers serving in the English army, it is one big party.

flag-sign-at-mcsorleys

In the United States, the Irish pub has come to be ground zero for St. Patty’s Day celebrations.  Those marching in the many grand parades like the one in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, or just attending them, often start and end their day at the pub.  For those of Irish heritage, and those who wish they were, the Irish pub remains a special place all year long.  But on the 17th of March, people are willing to wait in long lines for hours just to belly up to one of these great bars.

And we here at the American Public House Review are no exception.  We seem to find ourselves spending time in many of America’s great Irish taverns.  So if you are sitting home today, or at the office, and you are curious about the influence Erin’s Isle has had on our country, you needn’t look any further than the archives of APHR for some great examples.

the-old-triangle-mollys-nyc

Of course few are more famous the Manhattan’s McSorley’s Ale House on the lower eastside, or P.J. Clarke’s found uptown.  Molly’s Shebeen, also downtown, ranks right there with those two in the annals of great turn of the century Irish taverns.  They are testaments to the lasting power of a great Irish pub. 

shanacie-stained-glass

But a great tavern doesn’t need to be old to be great.  The Dubliner in Washington D.C. and the Dublin Pub in Morristown both opened in the early 1970’s, but feel as though they were transported here from Ireland’s largest city centuries ago.  For great music, try Mitchell’s Café along the Delaware River in New Jersey.  Or maybe you will be lucky enough to hear Gerry Timlin play at the Shanacie Pub in Ambler, Pa, where he is at once the entertainer, resident storyteller, and owner.

Needless to say, I love a good Irish pub.  I can literally say I was raised in them.  They are what brought me to my love of great taverns.  Yes, today may be the toughest day to get into one, and rightly so, but it is worth it.  I’ll be leaving for mine in just a couple of hours.

dublin-pub-morristown-exterior-painting

So from all of us here at the American Public House Review, to our readers of Irish and wishful-Irish heritage, we raise a glass and say “Thirst is a shameless disease, so here’s to a shameful cure”, and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

Posted by: David McBride

Finding great music in unexpected places

A few months ago I wrote about a terrific pub found in a place you probably wouldn’t expect to find a great tavern, Walt Disney World in Florida.  But that is exactly where you find the Rose and Crown pub at the United Kingdom pavilion in Epcot.  But that isn’t the only surprise you may find in that neck of what locals call “the Mouse”.  You’ll also find some seriously good Celtic flavored rock.

Off Kilter

As you walk out of the front doors of the Rose and Crown take a right and head towards the Canada pavilion.  Just before you get there, you’ll see a stage on the right.  Now take a look at the schedule the over-friendly person with permanent smile on his or hers face gave you when you walk in.  If it says Off Kilter is going to play soon in Canada, take a seat and have a listen.  You won’t be disappointed.

Five days a week, and five time during those days, five men from everywhere but Canada play a unique blend of hard rock and Celtic folk at the Canadian Pavilion.  Unlike Disney’s normal way of doing things, these guys may not fit the theme of their surroundings seamlessly.  Like I said, none of them are actually from Canada and what they play is mostly not at all Canadian.  But not a single employee I met that works in the Canada pavilion, all of them natives our northern neighbor, cares about that in the least.  All they care about is that Off Kilter is good, very good.

one of the gems of Walt Disney World

So have a seat, perhaps bring a pint with you, and be ready for a high energy performance form a band of virtuosos.  You’ll hear contemporary tunes, beautiful bagpipes melodies, and great traditional songs.  And they are all done with a flair only Off Kilter can provide.

posted by David McBride of the American Public House Review

Finding an Irish Heritage in Jim Thorpe, PA

As we approach St. Patrick’s Day, and the weekend that is sure to fill Irish pubs all over the country, we continue to highlight the Celtic themed taverns covered inside the American Public House Review.  Today we go deep into the mountains of Carbon County, Pennsylvania to find a truly Irish-American heritage at the Molly Maguires.

The Molly Maguires in Jim Thorpe, PA

The deep and painful history of coal mining in this area of the country permeates the town of Jim Thorpe, PA.  The Molly Maguires focuses on the labor struggles that took place as a result of this sorted past.

So who were the Molly Maguires?  History has lost most of the details to their story, and much of it was shrouded in secrecy.  There is even some who question whether such a group ever existed.   But what we do know is that there were groups of coalminers who fought their companies and attempted to unionize the labor force.  One such group, many of whom were hung in Jim Thorpe when it was known as Mauch Chunk, is now known in history by that name.  It is their legacy that defines the unique Irish-American heritage of this little town.

But besides peaking into a somewhat forgotten history for those of us who are tourists to the area, Molly’s is also a great place to stop for a drink and some grub.  I have been there on more than one St. Patrick’s Day.  And even though it is somewhat subdued when compared to the local parade day, it is still a great place to sit and observe the holiday.

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