The Irish Harp

We find out why 'The Irish' is such an institution

You know you’ve crossed over into institution territory when most people shorten your name to just one word (like Madonna!) The Irish, as it’s most often known, is a smoky enclave of cheap drinks, smoke, cheap food, smoke, live music, and yes, more smoke. Although they’ve tried to waft in some fresh air over the years, non smokers prepare for the cloud to hit you upon entering. Otherwise, they’re an institution for a reason; the prices are reasonable, the atmosphere is relaxed enough you’ll see people in jeans next to ladies in high heels, and there’s an edge of ‘dive’ about it, but in a good, non-scary way. The Irish is not trendy. The Irish is not where the glitterati intend to hang out. But it is where the average Joe and Jane can rock out on a Thursday night, and where many of the glitterati end up after their flavour of the month has let them down. The Irish doesn’t disappoint, mainly because it just doesn’t seem to care if it impresses you or not: it is what it is, take it or leave it, and it will always be there to take you back after you’ve cheated on it with whatever new kid has just opened. Their dance floor is usually jammed, and they’ve just brought in a new live house band to keep it that way. Their food menu is ‘Irish favorites’, which seems to involve lots of pies, potatoes and things that have been deep friend: we see no problem at all with that. Their drinks menu is similarly straight forward: you’re not going to find fru fru concoctions here, but you will find solid classics for imminently reasonable prices. The Irish is like the ubiquitous cigarettes of its patrons: a slightly bad habit that you sometimes regret, but, at the end of a hard day, sometimes just what you need, despite your better judgment.


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