By far, PUB OG was the best exhibit at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. How good was it? On the first day of the show, the designers were thrilled because they had seven orders. By the end of the show on Friday, they had sold 25. That doesn’t seem like a lot until you know that each PUB OG is a small version of an Irish pub and sells for $80,000. Of course, that includes everything, even ready to pour Guinness.
PUB OG is a closet version of a pub. OK, kind of a big closet. It’s an octagon, about eight to ten feet wide, and, as they explained, has just enough room to accommodate two quartets. One person at the pouring bar, four seated on stools and three standing behind them. No social distancing here.
The door to the pub opens to face the front of the bar which has a mirrored back, as you would expect. Framed photos and drawings fill the walls. The PGA Show version even had a photo of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke with two of them holding major trophies.
To add to the fun, there’s even a secret compartment behind one of the photos where the bar owner can keep the goodies.
Behind the bar, a variety of high and low shelves are within easy reach of the bartender. They have all sorts of notable drinks in case you prefer a small glass of something stronger than Guinness.
Each bar top comes from a naturally fallen tree. This one came from a chestnut tree that was planted in 1756 and fell during storm Ophelia in 2017. We know this because there is a plaque on top of the bar that says so.
Inside, the tiny walls are full of memorabilia from golf’s past. Old drawings. Old fashioned framed boxes. They even perfume the interior with peat. You feel like you’ve stepped back in time. I mean, these guys are good.
Now everything in this pub can be personalized to reflect the tastes of the owner. And the decoration too. If you want one painted hot pink, you can get it. But this one was green, like a tee shack on many golf courses.
So how did the idea come about? Some Irish-born men have been frustrated during the pandemic when their local pubs, what Irish and British residents commonly refer to as their “local”, were closed. For more than a year. Think about it. Irish without an open bar.
As Paul Kelly, one of the show’s PUB OG group members, explained, they’d all had too much to drink somewhere other than a bar one night, and the frustration of not having their premises gave rise to the idea. to create individual portable bars for backyards or for events. But they didn’t want just any bar. They wanted the exact feel of a real pub.
Luckily, one of the group was Cormac Artt, who built all sorts of experiences at Universal and is also an expert in making film sets. He had the know-how of construction and the sense of detail. The result was a small, intimate bar that might look like what you see on PBS’s murder mysteries, but custom-designed to each owner’s tastes. Many people have compared it to the Jigger Inn, which sits near the 17th hole of the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, but is a famous little pub.
All in all, PUB OG is exactly what you would expect. Dark and cozy. Taps holding Guinness or other favourites. It’s so comfortable that you really want to settle down for an afternoon of conversation with friends.