Irish-themed pubs are attracting drinkers from Anchorage to Abu Dhabi, but the real thing is in rapid decline in its homeland. The pub trade, particularly in the countryside, has been declining for years, due in part to a smoking ban and stricter drunk driving laws. Now, with high unemployment and renewed emigration, pub closings have accelerated amid fears that an important part of the country's character is being lost, GlobalPost reports.
Drinking hasn't gone out of style in Ireland, but pub owners say that alcohol is so cheap in supermarkets (yes, Budweiser is popular in the land of Guinness) that far more people are choosing to drink at home instead. "The daytime trade has gone,” laments a worker in a pub in one County Clare village. “The older people who would come in during the afternoon and sit over a pint of Guinness have all died, and the younger people don’t drink during the day. They haven’t the money.” More than 30 pubs closed in that county alone last year.