Posted by: guinness222 | September 19, 2007

So what is “The Emerald Rose”?

     Well it WAS an Irish Pub I designed and opened up in New England about fifteen years ago. It survived for about four years before it was brought down by arcane liquor license laws, a greedy landlord, and otherwise abject shortage of cash from a very large expensive anchor attached to it.

   (Don’t ask,…it’s a hugely long story!)

      It was a noble experiment in social dynamics that succeeded. It was started on only $600 seed money, it robbed, begged, borrowed and traded beyond that to become an Irish Pub. The entire concept was a typical (in my mind that is, since I’ve never been to Ireland, and all my “local” trips to what were called  “Irish Pubs” were “Gin Mills” calling themselve Irish Pubs!), actually my concept was that of a traditionally warm, family even, clean, non-stale beer smelling, Irish decored, “Cheers”, complete with it’s Normy, and Cliffy, and Diane’s and Sam’s and the rest of the cast, PLUS that entire “everyone here’s a friend” attitude.

      We succeeded big time. We were rigid in a number of areas, (No Bud, Miller, or otherwise non imported beers, no sports on the big screen TV other than Soccer, it was a world cup year when we opened and we opened the day before the world cup began, and most importantly no live entrertainment other than Irish Pub music, again strictly my call as to what that was!)

       since we had no budget for “Decor” we offered to trade “pints of Guinness” for genuine Irish artifacts and memoribilia that we could use to decorate with. And the floodgates opened! The little City we were in had been an 1860’s mill town, and our Pub was built in one of those mills, that was staffed on the backs of the hundreds and hundreds of Irish immigrants arriving in Boston and being driven elseware to find work, so it was fair to say there were old trunks, attics and basements just full of “Irish Stuff” from generations past.

        There were signs stolen right off street posts in Dublin, posters, metal ad nail up signs, you name it, bar towels, old pictures, everything. But the prize of them all went to one of the enterprising students from the Nearby University who wandered in one night with a grocery bag, walked up to me, as I was bartending, asked if it was true we would trade pints of Guinness for real Irish artifacts and treasures to decorate the place with, to which I said “Yup, that’s us,…what do you have?” He smiled and said, “No conditions as long as it’s from Ireland, right?” I said, “Nope, as long as you swear it’s from Ireland I’ll take you at your word.” His grin widened, and he reached into the brown grocery bag and pulled out a gallon size zip lock bag full of a brownblack substance, and set it on the bar. “So how many pints is this worth,…five maybe?”, he asks. “What the hell is it?”, I demanded, scratching my head. “Well it’s a full bag of the ‘Old Sod’,..what else?”

       I not only gave him the five pints, but a big bowl of Guinness Beef Stew. Now I guarantee you if that lad graduated from the university, it was in Sales and Marketing, and by now he’s a millionaire. I am a sucker for thinking outside the box and ingenuity!

     Perhaps another blog on the pub later on with more behind the scenes stories and pieces. You will love tham as that was one of the most fun experiances of my life, despite the last one before bankruptcy, loss of my businesses, my savings, and all I had worked for thirty years to acquire.

     But bottom line I’m still on this side of the grass, watching life and people, …..and that my friend is what life is about, watching, helping, and being friendly.


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