“Staying in is the new going out,” has been the mantra of many Irish people since the Celtic Tiger was neutered and put out to pasture. And the pubs having been feeling the brunt of the lack of disposable income among Irish drinkers.
The property collapse and frugal boozers who now elect to pick up beer at the liquor store as opposed to hit the bars has had a devastating effect on the pub trade in the Emerald Isle.
A Bloomberg article has revealed that the value of Irish bars has tanked 40 percent, with the upcoming sale of some of the Thomas Read group of pubs in Dublin about to underline the dramatic collapse of the once booming bar business.
A receiver was appointed to the group, which owns some of the most fashionable watering holes in Dublin, and is seeking to sell nine of the group's 21 pubs it owns to retrieve some money to pay off debts.
“The sale of the Thomas Read pubs will be an acid test for the market,” director of hotels and licensed premises sales at CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. in Dublin, John Ryan, told Bloomberg.
The Bloomberg piece points to the sale of a pub in Athboy, County Meath as an indicator in the slide of the sale price of a pub. A few years back the pub owners refused a three quarters of a million euro bid as being too low, and ended up selling the place for €470,000 ($705,387) in September.
Such a significant drop reflects the property bubble burst, and the sale of the Thomas Read group pubs will reveal if that trend continues in the Irish capital.
One thing is for sure, the pub culture in Ireland has dramatically changed. The economic collapse, the tighter drink driving laws and the dropping property prices have led to pub closures all around the country.
4,800 jobs have been lost in the bar trade alone as the trickle down effect from the demise of the Irish economy firmly hits the Irish where many feel it the most - in the pubs.
It would almost drive to you drink. At home.