St Patrick's Day is a day for Celebration and the best place to be on 17th of March is in an Irish Bar. The first thing you need to do is choose the bar. While some really live up to the name others simply don't quite cut it. No doubt many of us have been to an “Irish bar” but you will know the real Irish bar when you come across it. Some don't even resemble an Irish bar never mind have an Irish owner but most, in fact, are usually worth the visit and really do a good job at being Irish.
While backpacking our Chilean friend asked us, what is a real Irish bar? We tried to explain “well it’s usually small, with old Irish memorabilia scattered throughout, coupled with old wallpaper (usually 70s style), mostly dark wooden seating arrangements” usually, you will find some old Irish Guinness sign or picture with and the barman that knows the difference between ale, larger and their whiskey. For an Irish bar to be an actual Irish bar, however, the most important thing is the “craic” (creating a fun atmosphere) for all. Nowadays most Irish Pubs have sports on a big screen to set the tone for the night to follow. So with this in mind reviewed a few Irish Bars throughout South America.
The Wild Rover La Paz, Cusco, Arequipa (Hostel Bar)
This trio creates a great Irish bar with an entertaining environment throughout the three establishments. All 3 bars have the old style wallpaper, funny Irish posters that highlight the Irish Humour and Irish themed memorabilia. The ceilings are decorated big Irish flags, every Irish man feels at home. The Hostels are part owned by an Irishman and it shows in their bar areas. On game days, there are big screens to watch the GAA, Rugby, and soccer which is essential to an Irish pub nowadays. As well as creating the right ambiance each bar has a token Irish barman/bar-lady. Each bar ensuring everyone has a good time no matter what time of the day you wandered in for a pint.
We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day 2015 in Wild Rover Arequipa where the Irish flag dances proudly outside their door. On the day patrons painted their faces with green white and orange and danced like little leprechauns to the lively band. The party continued into the early hours of the morning with people from all over the world joining in on the antics.
Dublin Bar (Santiago Chile)
It’s a Restobar which means the only way you could order a pint of beer is by ordering food too. Here there were a few Irish flags, green painted walls, and dark wooden chairs. When we visited there was no atmosphere or shall we say the “craic”. Not an Irish guy in sight so we didn’t rate it high in the Irish bar-o-meter.
This place is split in two. One section consists of a bar with dim lighting and high wooden bar with stools (also essential to an Irish Pub). They try desperately to create a good atmosphere but failed at the last hurdle. The atmosphere is a little dead at times but it does try to inject a little culture. The other side of Houlihan’s is a restaurant. Basically its just painted green with an Irish flag and a few shamrocks on the menu. In our opinion just because you have painted your bar green doesn’t mean you can call yourself an Irish bar.
Paddy's Bar Cusco
Claims to be the highest Irish owned bar in the world. In our opinion it resembled a few bars we would frequent in Dublin. High stools, a small bar, it did have plaques on the walls, however, it didn't have much Irish memorabilia (It was mainly music legends but that’s ok). It had pub grub menu which is always a plus when you are to watch the sports all day. This bar always has the music playing and drinks flowing at night so proves a great place where the “craic is ninety” (Irish slang for when the place is in party swing). We also visited during the day time to watch a soccer match and some food. The food was nice but the atmosphere was dead with no sound on the TV. So with that being said if you decide to enjoy a tipple in the highest Irish owned bar in the world made sure it is in the evening where it is safe to say the party is in full swing.