Giving a slice of true blue Irish pub experience in the neighbourhoods of India’s metro cities, The Irish House is focused on innovative offerings to its growing list of patrons across the country
The Irish House was launched by K Hospitality Corp in 2011 in Mumbai, and today the brand has created a niche of its own with presence of 16 outlets across Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi and Belgaum. With the opening of five new outlets, the company is focused on bringing the neighbourhood pub experience to the beer lovers in the country. The décor recreates the ambience of traditional pubs from the heart of Ireland, and celebrates the joie de vivre with some great music and good food. For sports lovers The Irish House is a perfect place to hangout with their friends and enjoy their favourite championships on the giant screens.
Sanju Arora, general manager, The Irish House says, “The idea has always been to be a market leader in providing a high quality, value for money, consistent and innovative pub experience to our fans across the country.” Highlighting the key milestones, he affirms that the brand has come a long way since its inception. “The Irish House has successfully and consistently provided a complete contemporary pub experience to all our patrons across India, despite a trend of most restro pubs having a shelf life of not more than two years approximately,” he states, pointing out that The Irish House has been the recipient of numerous awards.
Sharing the expansion plans pan India in the next few years, Arora says, “Since The Irish House has just entered Delhi, we are looking to expand into key neighbourhoods starting with Nehru Place, Connaught Place and Mall of India across NCR to give everyone a true Irish experience and build a strong local pub culture in the city. We’re also expanding with two new outlets in BKC (Mumbai) and Koregaon Park (Pune), taking us up to 20 outlets by the end of this year. We strongly believe there is enough to do in various cities and neighbourhoods across India and are focusing our attention on taking the Irish experience to cities across the country. #TheIrishAreComing.”
Responding to a question on whether they will be replicating the same model – in terms of decor, F&B offerings, in different markets, Arora mentions, “Each market brings its own nuances, and there are always tweaks we adapt depending on what the customer is looking for. Most of our customers look for a consistent experience across each location of ours they visit, and hence we do make the Irish House experience is never diluted at any of our outposts.” He recommends checking out the new locations at Thane and Mall of India to get a feel of some differences in those markets.
The Irish House takes great pride in its F&B offerings. The beer fridge contains over 50 beers ranging from international, domestic and craft beers from all over the world, and guests can pick as per their beer-type preference – lagers, wheat, ales, porters, stouts, and ciders; with options on tap as well as in pints. “Our guests particularly enjoy having their beer from our large sturdy one litre mugs or our three litre custom made wooden kegs. An extensive mix of imported and domestic spirits, a well-curated wine list, signature speciality cocktail creations community cocktails and classic cocktails complete the bar menu. The range of new specialty cocktails gives a whole new perspective on innovative and rustic concoctions,” says Arora. The current menu has got sections for Beer Cocktails, Mules, Community Cocktails, and Top Shelf Signatures. Some of the new cocktails would be smoked cocktails like the Citric Spinner and Smoked Wisdom which use vodka and whisky as bases respectively along with infused tea, topped with herbed smoke. “For those wanting to have a smaller but potent cocktail, we’ve also introduced cocktail shooters like Whisky Sour Jr, Short Island Iced Tea, Mini Tequila Sunrise, and some more,” informs Arora.
“The food menu is a mix of international, British, American and Irish cuisine, and brings the right balance of classic and contemporary pub grub with items such as Fish n Chips, Murphy’s BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Grande Nachos, Chicken Popcorn, Crispy Sriracha Rigatoni, and a host of other all-day favourites,” remarks Arora, adding that the menu is updated constantly to be in sync with the current trends and keeping guest feedback into consideration.
Events are among the key highlights at The Irish House. These range from curated weekly, monthly and annual events – tributes and rock music band performances, acoustic acts, karaoke nights, board game nights, pub quizzes, drinking contests, crazy Oktoberfest celebrations, Christmas brunches, Singles Week (when everyone else is celebrating Valentine’s Day), and many more. “We’ve created a niche when it comes to St Patrick’s Day celebrations in India, with our larger than life two-day outdoor carnival,” reminds Arora.
Remarking that the pub culture has expanded greatly in all the cities The Irish House has entered, Arora says, “We see a great amount of growth potential to scale even further into the future in bigger and smaller cities, and bring the same widespread pub culture into the country in a bigger way.” While the core guest profile continues to be in 25-40 age bracket, with an equal mix of couples, single men and women, the last category have grown significant in recent times.
With technology becoming a key driver for trends in the bar space, The Irish House is planning more technology integration – from tablets, e-wallets, loyalty, pre ordering to data analytics – to help drive better customer experience, interaction and engagement.