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Hi, my name is Gar and I've a bar called The Thomas House in Dublin, Ireland. Today is St Patrick's day and hundreds of thousands of tourists arrive into the city centre to take it over. This AMA has become a tradition now and has been running about 8 years. I look forward to answering any questions you may have about running a pub on a day like this or hospitality in general during this period of the year.

**Done now folks. Got hectic at the end and had to step back from answering questions! Thanks for all your comments!

Comments: 784 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

thesegue881 karma

Do you ever feel like there was a missed opportunity to call it Gar's Bar or GarBar?

bombidol687 karma

Every day

Trefayne516 karma

What is the most disturbing misconception about St. Patrick's day you see/hear every year?

bombidol1325 karma

That all Irish people enjoy it. I don't think I know any Irish people that go out on St Patrick's day.

pervperverson454 karma

Is it harder to be taken seriously as a barman when you’re so good-looking?

bombidol522 karma

It's my cross to bear unfortunately.

applechillipot364 karma

Roughly how many litres of Guinness will you go through, throughout the day?

bombidol629 karma

We are a small bar on the edge of the city centre so our volume would be tiny compared to the giant bars in the heart of town. I ordered in an extra 500 litres for today on top of what we had in stock already.

blbd92 karma

How many liters per keg?

bombidol150 karma


Labskaus_de_nata67 karma

I love your bar! Visiting every time I go to Dublin <3

bombidol41 karma

Thank you!

mobappbrowse303 karma

What percentage of your patronage will be Irish vs tourist on this day?

bombidol524 karma

Probably 80% tourists today. Maybe more.

brownsfan760230 karma

How respectful are Americans who visit your bar?

bombidol544 karma

Americans and Canadians will make up a large percentage of our customers today and generally will be great to deal with. Rarely any hassle.

blbd160 karma

Who causes the most problems?

bombidol724 karma

Young Irish people

moodwrench206 karma

Which leprechaun movie is most accurate.. " Darby O'Gill and the little people" or "Leprechaun 5: In the Hood"?

bombidol202 karma

Leprechaun 5 for sure

AdmiralAkbar1165 karma

What's your favorite drink to have, and what's your favorite drink to make for someone else?

bombidol359 karma

I'm a powers whiskey guy. Been laying off the beer etc for a few months now but I'm partial to Ambush by Trouble Brewing or anything by Lineman. Nothing beats the satisfaction of pouring a good looking pint of Guinness for someone and handing it over.

jessipowers114 karma

Powers lady here. The whole family drinks powers whiskey, we have to, it’s in our name.

bombidol96 karma

It's the best domestic Irish whiskey by far

eoinsageheart7183 karma

Did you prefer the older Powers recipe or the new one when Jameson bought them?

bombidol8 karma

Irish distillers own both powers and jameson.

Naasofspades160 karma

Any chance of two pints and a packet of taytos?

bombidol82 karma

Of course

hops4beer129 karma

Is it worth the money?

bombidol365 karma

For us it is. We are a small independent bar and venue so we basically survive from week to week. As much hassle as today is, it comes at the end of a bad period for hospitality, post new years.

hops4beer118 karma

My wife and I do corned beef and cabbage every year. Is that a thing for you guys or is it just bullshit to make Americans buy cabbage?

bombidol236 karma

This is a weird one cause when I was a kid that was a normal enough meal from time to time but it's kind of disappeared over the years and become a joke.

hops4beer11 karma

How late are you going to stay open or are you not going to close?

What are the pub laws?

ArcadeRivalry25 karma

Pub laws in Ireland require a 12:30 closing time (most pubs close around 11:30 on weekdays, not sure if that's law or choice). Late licenses can be purchased which allow for service up until 2:30.

bombidol43 karma

Yeah so it's 11.30 Monday-Thursday. 12.30 on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 on Sunday. Late licenses will grant you an extra two hours on top of those times if you apply and pay on time to get them.

CamperKuzey126 karma

How whacked do people get, what kind of precautions do you take for it?

bombidol300 karma

We've got security on the door from later on in the day and I'm usually running back and forward from the door to the bar. The main objective is to stop people who are too drunk from getting in the door as its ten times harder to deal with them when they are inside. The vast majority of people out today will be drinking for fun and will know when it's time to go home but there's always a few who don't know when to stop and will be intent on ruining everyone else's day out.

CamperKuzey53 karma

How do you deal with the "undesirables"? Do you have any fun stories regarding the matter?

bombidol89 karma

Hundreds of stories. I'd need an AMA for those alone

Plutonium_239109 karma

What do you think old St.Patrick would make of how his day is celebrated in Ireland these days?

bombidol317 karma

He'd have a prayer for all us sinners.

Suil_Amhain76 karma

Tops off?

bombidol71 karma

For life

only1lcon72 karma

Do you have the craic with the customers or are you too busy?

Wish I could be there today, always appreciate bar staff and what they have to put up with. Hope you have a great day yourself and thanks for all the hard work you do

Happy St.Patrick's Day 💚🤍🧡☘️

bombidol149 karma

There's craic to be had with them for sure yeah. Paddy's day on our street tends to come in waves so we get a little time to talk with people. If we were in temple bar, that's a different story completely. Those poor swines will be smashed against the rocks for the duration.

t0riaj68 karma

Am I right in my (English) assumption that Irish people don't really care much about St Patrick's Day and they think the way Americans are obsessed with it is a bit mad? I can't imagine anywhere in Ireland is dying their rivers green or anyone is eating cabbage today

bombidol97 karma

It's 100% become more of a tourist thing over the years. Parents bring their kids to see the parade etc but not that many Irish people venture outside today.

HippyPuncher42 karma

Yeah my brother asked me to go into town for drink today, said 'fuck that' lol

Sitting in line for 20 minutes to get a drink, packed pub, people fighting and other people wearing the nation's flag as a cape, then come around 3 o clock there are people fighting and boking up in the street. I actually loved it when I was young but sounds like an awful day out now.

bombidol32 karma

It's pretty dreadful

woolfchick7526 karma

I live in Chicago USA and don’t venture out on St. Patrick’s Day. Can’t imagine what it’s like in Dublin

bombidol30 karma

I've been to Chicago for paddy's day. Crazy

Melodistone59 karma

If you wasn’t working how would you be doing on this day?

bombidol93 karma

Staying in bed most likely.

recaffeinated57 karma

What's the worst drink someone's asked you for on Paddy's Day, and why was it Guinness with syrup?

bombidol47 karma

It usually is yeah

Papa-Doc57 karma

Im opening a pub in Trogir, Croatia this summer. This is my first time doing something like that, any tips?

bombidol137 karma

The hours you put in at the start will help you survive later on . Make sure you figure out the most efficient way of getting jobs done and train your staff accordingly

kissthelips47 karma

Are there any Irish ciders you particularly enjoy? Or is that more an English thing?

bombidol57 karma

Tempted cider from the North is really good. Dan Kellys also.

NeroFMX45 karma

Shouldn't you be running the bar instead of doing an AMA on Reddit?

I'm just messing. This is a really interesting AMA, and I thank you for the education.

bombidol48 karma

I'm running back and forward!

HeyDeze43 karma

I’m an American visiting Dublin next month for the first time. Do you have any general advice for someone like me???

bombidol92 karma

Do as the locals do. Tipping isn't required but appreciated!

Ruisseaux30 karma

What do the locals do? Also, I look forward to this AMA every year for some reason. I think I've asked a question each year since you started.

bombidol36 karma

Some will come into the city and visit a few pubs but most will chill at home

Batchagaloop42 karma

Does it bum you out that the most recent google street view photo of your bar has a bus parked in front of it?

bombidol81 karma

I'll survive

eoinsageheart71838 karma

Do you care what irish whiskey someone orders?

bombidol82 karma

Kind of. Some are just bad whiskeys that are good at advertising.

Cr4nkY4nk3r32 karma

You can't just throw that out without naming names!

bombidol55 karma

I can't!

DokterZ24 karma

During our time in Ireland one bartender said that Jameson is basically rail level over there. Not sure if that was fact or opinion.

bombidol42 karma

Jameson is huge but looked at like a tourist whiskey.

DokterZ46 karma

I’m no expert but thought Red Breast 12 year old was very good for my unrefined taste buds.

bombidol43 karma

Great whiskey

Hommus_Dip37 karma

Is your pub still standing?

bombidol77 karma

We haven't even opened yet. I'm currently at home getting ready to head in. Have to walk as the city is effectively shut down to public transport.

Danger_Youse35 karma

Any craic lad?

bombidol47 karma

Zero so far champ

mini4x35 karma

How are your fish doing? The week I spent in Dublin we ended almost everyday with a pint by the Aquarium.

bombidol32 karma

All good! Pictures of new babies on our IG

Strykrol34 karma

Last time I went to Dublin the bartender scoffed at me and my friend for throwing two credit cards down (to split our whole tab down the middle). Is that considered rude?

bombidol62 karma

Most places won't run a tab for these days and only larger places would be equipped to split tabs

GrinningPariah26 karma

There's been a big movement lately in bars on the american West Coast to start having 0 ABV options for beer and cocktails. Is that a thing over there too?

I ask mostly because Guinness makes probably the best non-alc beer on the market and I'm wondering if that's an anomaly.

bombidol61 karma

Alcohol free options are huge right now. Because people can go out and hang without looking "weird" without drinking and also people are having one or two in the middle of a drinking session to balance out.

u9Nails24 karma

What are you pouring more of, beers or whiskey?

bombidol44 karma

Guinness all day mostly

PeanutSalsa23 karma

How do sales on this day compare to sales on all other days of the year?

bombidol40 karma

It's up on most average days but not that much


My boyfriend and I are headed to Dublin in two weeks, first time visiting. Other than your own, are there any pubs/bars you recommend we visit?

Hope you have a great St. Patrick's, from Canada!

bombidol43 karma

Really depends on what you want to experience. There's a great cross section of traditional and modern here. DM me a few days before you get in and ill send you a list

im_on_the_case19 karma

Gar, what's the craic with the voluntary alcohol ban for today or at least earlier today? Did you and the staff have a good chuckle when it was proposed?

bombidol24 karma

Anywhere on the parade route was asked not to serve alcohol until 4pm

JM_Flynn19 karma

Do you or your staff dress up in anything particular today? Or decorate the pub?

bombidol99 karma

Absolutely not

patjackman19 karma

Say hi to Nikki and Terry, will ya? 🙂

bombidol18 karma

Of course!

ATLiensinyosockdraw19 karma

How king have you owned the bar?

bombidol39 karma

Myself and my business partner have had it since 2011.

Crotalus_B18 karma

What are some leaser known Irish brews out there? Over here in the USA, Guinness seems to have the market covered (and I enjoy a dark thick beer), so what are some leaser known brands that I should keep an eye out for?

bombidol27 karma

Trouble Brewing and lineman

The_mingthing18 karma

God have mercy on you, how do you keep from hitting someone over the head with a Shillelagh?

bombidol24 karma

I keep that for emergencies

JM_Flynn17 karma

Besides Guinness, what is today's top seller?

bombidol24 karma

Veltins lager

sweepernosweeping17 karma

Why did you lot lob Jedward to us today?

Much love, Edinburgh.

bombidol20 karma

We don't want them anymore

Kaywin15 karma

I moved to Chicago about 2 years ago and I have to say, I’ve never, ever known a city to take St. Patrick’s so damn seriously. How do folks in Ireland generally feel about the way we do St. Patrick’s here in the States?

What’s your favorite drinking song?

bombidol27 karma

I think there's a general pride that this tiny island is being celebrated far and wide across the globe.

RealNumberSix14 karma

What's the difference between a pub and a bar?

bombidol30 karma

Pubs would be mostly be in reference to licensed premises in Ireland and England. They are pretty much one and the same.

citizen60412 karma

Murphy’s or Guinness?

bombidol25 karma

Guinness for life though I do like a Murphys

britjh2212 karma

Thinking about picking up a nice bottle as a sipper, opinion between Green Spot or Red Breast 12? Can't get powers here.

bombidol24 karma


pdromeinthedome11 karma

Does the Catholic Church in Ireland give special Lenten dispensation to eat meat on St. Paddy’s day, like in North America? Does it make any difference either way?

bombidol77 karma

Hail Satan.

bcnguiri10 karma

Is the term Irish carbomb not used for the shot in the pint of Guinness? I remember in Ireland that they call it a depth charge.... Is this true everywhere or just the more sensitive PC way to say it?

bombidol16 karma

It doesn't bother me personally

munkijunk9 karma

Dub here. Great pub, but my question relates to an experience I had recently up North in Fealtys bar in Bangor. A friend brought me there saying it was the best Guinness in the country, and after initially disbelieving them they were proven to be absolutely right, and if you've not been I'd highly recommend the place. What was different was it was warm and silky in a way the cold filtered isn't. What ever happened to warm Guinness, and would it ever be possible to serve a pint in that style in Ireland given the Guinness quality assurance team?

bombidol13 karma

I don't think so. We offer pint bottles of Guinness both from fridge and off the shelf. Diageo quality teams would have a shit fit if you messed with their gear or temp.

RWD-by-the-Sea7 karma

Some of my Irish colleagues look down on craft beer/micro breweries in favor of more mainstream brands. Is that common amongst other Irish people, or just their prejudices?

bombidol9 karma

It'll depend on the person really. The large brewery's will always have the biggest market share.

es_price7 karma

How often do your regulars stop in for a pint? Is it like every day or definition of a regular has changed a lot over the years?

bombidol11 karma

Some I'd see a few times a week and some could be monthly

squashed_tomato6 karma

Do you think St Patrick's Day is celebrated more in the US than in Ireland? Brit here (don't hold it against me) and it always seems like US folks get into making a big thing of it way more than anyone who actually lives in Ireland or the UK.

bombidol22 karma

It's huge in the USA due to immigrants wanting to celebrate where they came from. There's are more people of Irish descent living in the USA than in Ireland currently so it's always going to be a bigger deal there.

PyroIrish4 karma

I'm an American with the last name of Ireland but never got introduced to true Irish culture. Any tips on how to explore that?

bombidol28 karma

Book a flight

KydreMurkins4 karma

How is lgbt acceptance in the Dublin bar scene?

bombidol11 karma

99% of places here are welcoming to all

AErrorist3 karma

In your professional opinion, what is the best bourbon?

bombidol5 karma

I honestly know very little about bourbon, it's not a big deal here really. We carry a few brands but I've never tasted them

The_Patriot3 karma

Is my guitar pick (black, says "West Trinity") still stuck in the bass strings of the Phil Lynott statue?

bombidol2 karma

I highly doubt it

KeepItUpThen3 karma

Were you born in Ireland? Do you know anyone who speaks Gaelic?

bombidol6 karma

Born here yeah. My Irish language is really bad but I know a few people who speak it well.

Brandonification2 karma

In the US "Irish" bars generally have bands playing traditional Irish or traditional adjacent (The Pogues, Flogging Molly, etc) music. I understand Dublin is a metropolis with an eclectic music scene, but is that something you or other pubs/taverns cater on St. Patricks day?

bombidol7 karma

We are an alternative music bar all year round. Today we eilltbe focusing on Irish bands etc moreso.

Juanisweird2 karma

How can you have time to do an AMA? Isn’t it supposed to be a day with lots of customers?

bombidol5 karma

It is but I'm mostly on the door today

GourmetGameWraps2 karma

How many gallons do you guys generally go through on Saint Patrick’s Day? Do you guys need a lot of preparation?

bombidol26 karma

I have no idea what a gallon is.

GreyIggy07191 karma

My birthday is St Patrick's day. If I came to visit your pub could I get a pint on the house?

bombidol14 karma

Fuck no

faleboat-5 karma

My pal asked me yesterday if in Ireland people get drunk on St Patty's day, and if y'all drink green beer. Do ya?

bombidol6 karma

Some do. No green beer though