Modern Irish (?) bar to open at Crossgates

Kingston, MA, Waxy's
What is a "modern Irish bar"?

That question might be answered in the same way as one would answer the question "What do they call Chinese food in China?"

The answer to the second is, obviously, "food." The Irish probably call a modern bar a "bar," or a pub if they are traditionalists. But, a small chain called Waxy’s, scheduled to open next spring in Crossgates Mall below the Funnybone Comedy Club, adds the phrase "The Modern Irish Bar" to its name.

Apparently what makes it "modern" is 100 or more beers on tap and 30 or so television screens. Begorrah!

That range of possibilities might sit well with people who liked the recently-departed World of Beer venue, offering 500 beers, that quietly pulled out of Crossgates last summer. The location will be Waxy's 10th. Existing locations are in Fort Lauderdale, FL; San Antonio, TX; Keene, NH; Plainville, CT; and five in Massachusetts -- Lexington, Foxboro, Kingston, Woburn, and Brookline.

The food menu doesn't sound particularly Irish, either traditional or American style. A sandwich labeled "Dublin Dip" consists of beef, Cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and horseradish sauce on ciabatta; an entree called "Dubliner Chicken" is a boneless breast stuffed with grilled scallions, Dubliner cheese and pork & leek sausage. A ground lamb shepherd's pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash are a nod to common pub fare in Ireland and Britain. Most of the rest of the menu is the usual mix of American pub apps, sandwiches and entrees found everywhere.

I believe I have a found a tipoff to the sort of atmosphere we'll find when Waxy's debuts here. According to its website, "To the Irish, talking is an essential part of the human condition so be prepared to have a chat, we love that. Where are you from? What do you do? Have you ever been to Ireland?

"We Irish love to share. Bump into us anywhere in the world and you’ll know beyond doubt that this is a truism. We’ll share our back-story with complete strangers -- even if you haven’t asked us to! We like to share, its how we make friends. Sharing a good story is a great way to get to know someone, sharing a beer is even better."

But, you will have to talk over those 30 TV sets.

Begorrah, again!

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