I am heartbroken. June 19th will be Finnegan's Wake's last day of operations, confirmed by a confoundedly cheerful employee I spoke to on the phone. I am bereft. I was there just recently having a long lunch with George who kindly posed in his dapper sun hat outside the place.
In many respects Finnegan's Wake represents, or represented, the best type of pub from the British Isles, in my opinion. We in the Colonies have retained a largely fictionalized version of the infamous British pub, once a place where people went to sip (warm) beer and chat with neighbors while their Labrador curled up at their feet. Nowadays pubs tend to be more like bars with entertainment, and less like country clubs. Finnegan's Wake did yield to the times inasmuch as a few television screens popped up on the walls but the atmosphere was how I liked it, quiet, dark and friendly. With an excellent, dare I say unrivaled, range of draught beers from Ireland and Britain.
I have to say the food at Finnegan's Wake has been excellent too, notwithstanding the reputation, largely undeserved, of modern food from that part of the world. Finnegan's Wake is not the only game in town so it seems I shall have to break the fondest habit of this lifetime and try -gasp- somewhere different when I want a quiet pint. Hmm. I have to say I was also delighted that my favorite, now also defunct food blogger liked the place: Prissy In Paradise.
None of which means a thing when the decision has been made to close. Who knows why, but one has to accept it's time is up. Another thing I don't know is why the apostrophe. I hadn't actually noticed it but years ago reading Joy Williams' superb Guide To The Florida Keys she made some tart remark about the addition of the apostrophe to what might otherwise be taken as a reference to James Joyce's seminal work. I really don't give a toss about that. I do give a toss about bangers and mash and proper draught beer that doesn't taste like the battery acid flavored modern craft IPA beers that young people love (and are also available at Finnegan's for the perverse). All that matters is that after June 19th it's all over. Change sucks.