Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is the smoking ban solely to blame for the decline of the pub?

I'm back 'home' from Dublin and what a fine weekend it was.
Yes, the Guinness was wonderful. But why does it have to be so expensive?
Paying 4.35 Euros to 5.20 euros a pint, well that's $9-10!
The papers are full of stories about the decline of public houses in Ireland.
The UK Times ran this on Saturday and the Irish Independent ran this today.
It's not just the smoking ban to blame, but growing competition from resturants and cafes.
There is also a greater trend towards home drinking, fuelled by drink drivng laws, particularly hitting the bars in rural areas.
However, as gloomier times means more are tightening our belts, cost is obviously a factor.
My dad is quite prosperous but he has constantly bleated about paying $9-10 a pint, which is £4 in English money, and 2-3 times what he pays back home.
As for me, I enjoyed the Dublin pubs, but no, getting pissed would bankrupt you in Ireland.
Pubs are great with good company, friends and intellectual conversation, like what you find when the VRWC meets at the Cavalier in Auckland.
Otherwise, since I like my wine, I would much happier pay $10 or so for a bottle of my choice and drink at home, than go out and pay $7 for a glass of wine you may not like.


Seán said...

yes, I have heard pubs are closing left right and centre over there. A shame really as they are a great community institution, and I'm not taking the piss. I find the Irish are more mature with their drink and will regularly bring children to the pub, particularly on Sundays. Certinly its a more family, community atmosphere. not a binge drinking lot of louts you will see in NZ.

FFM, you may disagree if you visited the Temple Bar area in central Dublin late at night, but I am referring more to the heartland.

The reasons you give for the decline all make sense.

Anonymous said...

'Tis true pubs have been struggling for a few years now.BUT the smoking ban is the final coffin nail for many.


Much as I like smokefree pubs, as I am a non-smoker, I can see a good case to let 'the tap room' remain smoking.
But pubs must do more to attract custom.
That will mean either lower prices or they will need to sell meals.
One pub in my parent's village has several newspapers available to read, so i have gone in for a pint or two in the daytime just to read the papers.
Currently, I am struggling with dial-up and if the pub offered free broadband, like some do in the ancient city of York , I would also find a visit worthwhile.
Now, the village has two pubs and since it's a large village my parents live in, I guess both will survive.
It's like the old saying- you either use it or lose it- which is why my parents try and support the local post office and general store when they can.
Even if their main shopping is in the big supermarket 10kms away.

Anonymous said...

Sean; They bring kids to the pub becos they practically live there !

" Irish more mature with their drink" Get a grip...

Seán said...

I see old stereotypes never escape the ignorant.