Monday, April 14, 2008

Do The Hustle

Those of you who have been avid readers of this blog over the past two and a half years might well recall that I have been less than complimentary about bars (and indeed restaurants) that style themselves a particular way with nary a jot of authenticity or with a smattering thereof. This reproach has been reserved no more than for so-called British or Irish bars, wherein the absence of anyone vaguely British or Irish has led me to question the claim of Britishness or Irishness. I am still inclined to a view that, as with food or drink that apes something of a distinct origin, there should be a -style suffix attached. So, for instance, champagne becomes champagne-style or Melton Mowbray pies become Melton Mowbray-style pies. Similarly, a British bar without any Brits would be a British-style bar.

Well, I have some cause to rethink this, and the impetus for this is Shamrock in Puerto Alcúdia. Now there are no Irish knocking around in the ownership, Fernando is most definitely not Irish. Any Irish behind the bar? Don't think so. But Irish Bar it is. What I have rethought is that the owning nationality doesn't matter if the whole package is right. And by the whole package I most definitely do not mean an Irish bar replete, as Ardal O'Hanlon put it so well, with bits of old tin and bikes hanging from the walls, making the place "look like a f*****' skip". There is one like that in these parts, but not Shamrock. No, what matters is that the people running the place have a clear idea of what plays well with the punter and deliver, and Shamrock is going a long way to doing just this. The nightly live music, in itself not necessarily Irish, is a promise that is being fulfilled, and there should be cheers all round for a live-music venue. The place does also have a good atmosphere, and it's kind of reassuring to even find some oldish local folk (Spanish) coming in for the music.

Beyond the Guinness and the Murphys, it could be any bar, let's be brutally honest. The Irish line is marketing, let's also be honest. But it doesn't matter, and besides it isn't just any bar because it has tapped into a real need, that of regular live music, and is forging a very good reputation on the back of both that and the overall ambience of the place. An early contender for bar of the year, methinks.

Shamrock is on C/. Torreta next to the Piscis Hotel and the main parking in the port of Alcudia. Open every evening from 19:00 at the moment and from 13:00 in the season. No food, just drinks and music, and there will be quizzes and bingo coming along. The photo, as you can see, is of the local band, The Hustlers, a rock and blues act.

QUIZ: Yesterday - Paul Anka. Today's title - who?


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