Sunday 23 July 2017

Irish customers book Good Friday session in inflatable pub

Greg Harkin

An inflatable pub has been launched with customers already booking it out for Good Friday.

Former drinks industry rep Caitriona Mulhern has been inundated with so many queries, she had already ordered three more of the pop-up bars.

The mother of two commissioned two bars - The Pub and The Barrel - from a specialist company in the UK.

They come with counters, a fake fire, and there's even an inflatable version of a stuffed salmon above the plastic mantelpiece.

"I've been on the road for Heineken for the past 12 years and with two young children it was getting harder and harder," said the 40-year-old.

"I came up with this idea and it's already attracting interest all over Ireland and in New York and Dubai.

"One customer wanted it flown to Dubai this week but we couldn't get it over in time. Drinks laws there mean you can drink at home and this fits perfectly into that.

"It's a bit of fun and people seem to like the idea. I have weekend bookings already through until December so that's why I have commissioned three more to meet the demand.

"I have a booking from a retirement home who want to have it for an afternoon and book a traditional music group to play."

The mother of two says the new bar you can pitch in your back garden isn't a threat to the traditional pub - because she's had bookings from the trade too.

The pop-up pub was launched last night at the back of a 19th century pub in Milford, Co Donegal.

Travellers Inn owner Michael McBride insisted: "It gives us a fun addition on busy weekends and for festivals. I know people will order this for their homes but it's also fun at a real pub too."

Local Donna Cushnahan is already thinking about booking it.

"It's a great idea," she said, "it would be great to have a few friends around of an evening for a bit of craic and you can decide when you want to call last orders."

Kevin McBride stopped off on his way home to Downings to see what it looked like.

"You can see that a lot of thought has gone into it. I suspect this is going to be a huge hit and good luck to Caitriona for giving it a go," he said.

And two pubs will be open this Good Friday - one in Oranmore, Co Galway and one in Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal.

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