The summer heat didn’t deter the crowds flocking to the grand opening of the newest addition to Xiamen’s pub scene – The Dubliner last Saturday. More than 200 people came through the doors during the afternoon and many stayed well into the early hours of the following morning. People from all around the world including many families started arriving early to make good use of The Dubliner’s outdoor beer garden and enjoy the free barbeque prepared personally by the landlady.
The Dubliner is the new sister pub of one of Xiamen’s oldest drinking establishments, The Londoner. One of the owners, Wayne Jones, says that he had been hoping to open an Irish pub in Xiamen for some time. "We looked around the Xiamen market and we thought that there is one particular type of pub that is missing from this great city – the Irish pub. Irish pubs around the world are famous for their relaxed atmosphere, live music, sports and good beers and drinks and that is exactly what we wanted to provide.”
Wayne, who has been one of the owners of The Londoner since 2009, is from England but has Irish heritage. “My grandmother was Irish and I grew up in the Irish quarter of Liverpool so I witnessed first-hand the way that the Irish people think about community, fun and leisure. Opening an Irish pub allows me to put these things together.”
Irish Pubs are the most popular type of pub and can be found in cities all around the world, and increasingly around China. Traditionally, these pubs serve not only as a place to have a drink, but as a hub of the community where people can come together to talk, laugh and enjoy live music.
To mark the opening of Xiamen’s Irish pub, The Dubliner offered free beer and Pimms – two drinks synonymous with a Great British summer. The Dubliner also serves Guinness on tap and stocks many craft beers from the British Isles including Carlow in Ireland and Wells and Young in England. Wayne says these smaller breweries are “dedicated to making quality products in the face of a modern world where mass production is often king”.
Live music throughout the night was supplied by one of Xiamen’s favorites - The Me & You 2 band – and did not disappoint on the day with a mixture of old and new classics.
The crowds were treated to special guest appearances by Xiamen’s one and only mandolin player with some Irish classics and the vocal talents of Xiamen’s most loved community members, Bong Antivola.
The owners of The Dubliner are confident that this new pub will become an integral part of the social landscape of Xiamen.