Having not been to Ireland myself, I found myself wondering what the big deal is about the Irish Pub and what makes it different from an English Pub or any other for that matter. I decided to do a little research and talk a bit to Lee Stanford who is one of the owners at Waxy O’Shea’s. Since I have been coming to the Waxy’s for many years, you can say I am doing this a bit backwards, but as I read I found out they fit the bill, so to speak, and represent the concept quite well.
The oldest pub of record would be Sean’s Bar in Athlone, County Westmeath which was established in the 10th century. The Brazen Head, in Dublin City, was established in 1198. In 1635, the government required the Pubs to be licensed and Grace Neil’s (1611) is listed as the oldest licensed pub in Ireland.
Because of the Temperance Movement in the 19th century, pubs needed to transform due to the decrease in liquor sales. The “Spirit Grocery” became a concept that expanded the pub to also be the local grocery, hardware, or even undertaker. This would help to keep such institutions alive with additional commerce.
It was the 1970’s that brought about the dining experiences in Irish Pubs. Great spirits were then paired with traditional favorite foods and in many cases changed the face of the Irish Pub to what you see most frequently these days. Most Irish Pubs in the United States will resemble this concept.
As mentioned in the introductory article of this blog, Waxy O’Shea’s has held true to the most important principle that the Irish Pub represents. The Irish Pub was not only a great place to get a drink but it was also a primary meeting place for the community. Locals and travelers alike would land in the Irish Pub because it was the hub of interesting conversation. Simply called the “Local” the area would visit to talk about politics, sports, or just simply trade stories.
Waxy O’Shea’s is that place in Branson, Missouri. We are always seeing guests that have been coming back year after year because they feel like a part of the Waxy’s family.
We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you home!Tags: Bar, Branson, History, Ireland, Irish Pub, Missouri, Pub, Tradition, Waxy O'Shea's