Creating a true Irish identity in one of the thousands of Irish pubs around the world is a difficult thing to do, but we’ve found 3 that took the rather extreme option of packing up an existing pub and shipping it across Europe, Africa, and America to make people feel right at home.
Bubbles O’Leary’s. Kampala, Uganda
Bubbles O’Learys, named after a former teacher of owner Nigel Sutton, is the only Irish bar in Kampala, Uganda. According to The Irish Mirror, Nigel bought all the furniture, the bar, the cold room, the stools, and the front door from The Linen Hall pub in Drogheda, County Louth.
He got 2 builders to dismantle the whole thing, fit it into a 40 foot container, and ship it to Uganda to be reconstructed as Bubbles O’Leary’s bar. They were waiting 8 weeks for the container to arrive, but when it did the work was done quite quickly. The bar opened to the public in August 2003.
Original Irish Mirror article.
Bubbles O’Learys on facebook.
Ronald Reagans pub, California
Then president, Ronald Reagan, paid a visit in 1984 to Ballyporeen, Co.Tipperary, where some of his Irish ancestors hailed from. Customary as it is for American presidents to have a pint in an Irish pub when they visit, his advance team found that O’Farrells pub in the village had a room named after the President, ‘The Ronald Reagan salon’. Reagan visited and sipped a pint of Smithwicks and off he went back on the campaign trail. The bar was later renamed ‘Ronald Reagan’s’ in his honour.
Some years later, June 2004, a a member of the board of trustees of the Reagan foundation and museum paid a visit back to Ballyporeen to find that the pub was closed and up for sale. He offered the owners $100,000 and the pub was now in the possession of the Reagan foundation. They packed up all the paraphernalia, furniture, and other bits and sent it to California to be put on display in the Reagan foundation museum. It’s still there today with the same bar, stools, and other fixtures. The O’Farrell family went to the unveiling of the relocated bar and poured the first pint of Smithwicks from the taps.
More information can be found via this link.
James Joyce bar, Zurich
We have to credit our friends at the ‘Come Here To Me’ blog for this great story of the moving of the bar from Jurys Hotel on Dame street to a the James Joyce bar in Zurich. The antique bar in Jurys hotel was put up for sale when the hotel was being closed to make way for the new Central Bank building. The bar was bought by a group of businessmen from Zurich who arranged for the bar to be shipped in it’s entirety to Switzerland.
For more information and photos, see the Come Here To Me article.
The James Joyce bar on facebook.
We had previously found a 4th pub, RíRá in Washington D.C. Which was used with some of the remnants of Gerry Nangles pub in Summerhill, but the pub closed in January of this year.