America, Countries, Food & Wine

A tale of two Dubliners

Now, it’s rarely a good idea to get between two fighting Dubliners.

And never the famous fighting Irish, the emigrees who fled the Famine and built America and its best bars.

The two Dubliners in question here are pubs in Washington DC and Boston.

The Washington Dubliner has been pouring porter (that’s Guinness for the uninitiated) since 1975.

But they got a nasty taste in their mouth in the capital following the recent opening of the Boston Dubliner.

We’ll sue you in court

Capital: The Washington Dubliner

Records show that they have taken out a law suit against the Bostonians.

Saying: In the suit against the East Coast Tavern Group, filed in US District Court in Boston, the Washington Dubliner, founded in 1975, is asking for the Boston Dubliner, opened last year in the space where Kinsale used to be in Center Plaza, to be ordered to change its name.

And pay all the profits it’s made, plus damages and attorney’s fees to be determined by the court.’

Now the Boston Dubliner, like its Irish cousin has a healthy opinion of itself.


With its site boasting that it serves the best pint of Guinness in Boston.


Now I’ve yet to road-test it, preferring, of course to patronise my old stomping ground of The Black Rose.

The Washington version in the Phoenix Park Hotel in for its part has its own brand of whiskey.

Sing for your supper

The Black Stuff: In Boston

And that we’ve discovered is really at the heart of the dispute.

Because the Bostonians stand accused of selling that very brand in their bar.

Makes sense as you’d have to imagine that there would be more than two Dubliner pubs on the eastern seaboard.

Because there have been Dubliner pubs from as far apart as Bolivia, Prague and Iraq.

That caps it: Dermot Kennedy

It’s not just drink though where the two Dubliners find a lack of a common ground.

With both claiming the best music.

The Boston Dubliner drawing Dermot Kennedy in to sing there while the Washington bar a fave for its gigs.

We’ll keep you updated when we find out more but hope the two Dubliners settle it over a pint.

Another chapter

Luke who it is: With Luke Kelly in Dublin

As an aside, the most successful Irish trad band of them all, the Dubliners, emerged from a real capital city institution.

O’Donoghues, on Merrion Row, off Grafton Street, where they would play in the snug.

With Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly et al choosing to name themselves after a James Joyce set of short stories.

Now that’s a tale of Dubliners.

America, Countries, Food, Food & Wine

The Streets of Boston

Now I’ve experience of the streets of Boston and the difference a turning can make, albeit 35 years ago.

So when I’d overshot Chinatown in Washington Street yesterday.

And found myself crossing the Mass Turnpike bridge I knew I was off course.

Way to go Shojo

Chop, chop: Shojo

I had been personally waited on by restaurant manager Jim at Shojo on Tyler Street.

And licked my lips and fingers tearing through his Wu-Tang Tiger Style Ribs, Jasmine rice and Japanese Saison Du beer.

And heavy of tummy had decided to take a walk down Memory Lane to my old workplace, the Black Rose, on State Street.

Now the proliferation of Asian spellings and smellings ought to have alerted me that I was on the wrong scent.

The Black Rose

Get on your bike: The Godfrey

So I doubled back, span into a vortex and was suddenly back in 1987.

With the singer, Irish Terry, singing The Dubliners’ standard Fiddler’s Green.

I waited patiently, cradling my Guinness, for the favourite when I tended door and bar here in the Eighties.

And was glad to put bread in his jar for a rendition of Black Velvet Band.

Filled with the best type of fuel I rolled home and let the tiredness of a three-country, 17-hour Aer Lingus journey drift me to sleep.

And dream of days gone and to come on The Streets of Boston.

Before hitting the Streets of Boston again and checking out its famous T trams.

And a tea party.