Sunday, December 17, 2006
Irish Pubs Part 3
Pictured above is The Harp, The Causeway's immediate neighbor and the bane of our existence from 1993-1996 when we were open for business.
It's hard to imagine a more noxious mix of clientele than that of the Harp, either today or back in that era.
To start with there were the usual suburban idiots who had issues with holding their liquor. Add in college kids with the same problem, genuine tough guys from Charlestown, and shady immigrants who reeked of housepaint and cheap whiskey and you had constant trouble that often spilled over into our little club.
We had hard, physical bouncers for a reason but in spite of their skill and dedication Martin and I had to get in on the action more than a few times, and even the girls had run ins with The Harp's jetsam once or twice.
You'd never guess that it was such a bloodbath from a visit during the day. Like Paddy's and The Embassy it was all "nice" inside, a pattern that was leading me to believe that these new Irish felt guilt about drinking, or being in the booze business, and that dressing things up assuaged that guilt. Or it could have provided an excuse to charge fifty cents more for everything than American owned bars did.
A couple of The Harp's bartenders drank at The Causeway and one of them, after drink number six, would inevitably start talking about how he was an IRA operative. I guess it's the Irish version of telling tall tales about high school sports glory because a lot of immigrants claim to be in secret brigades when they get liquored up.
Sadly The Harp is still thriving even as The Embassy and Paddy's have closed and the drum is beating slowly for McGann's.