An Irishman living in the US has come up with the perfect way to beat homesick blues. He has built his own authentic Irish pub in the basement of his home!
Jim Phelan and his wife Katie have been living in Baltimore, Maryland, for over a decade. They moved from his hometown of Stradbally, Co. Laois 14 years ago.
But while Baltimore boasts plenty of Irish roots, for Jim, it's still a world away from his life back on the Emerald Isle.
So, he and his wife Katie came up with a solution to combat their pining for home: They built an Irish pub in their basement.
Jim told The Irish Post:
"When my wife Katie and I decided to purchase a home, our search criteria included a wide-open basement which would essentially serve as a blank canvas for this project."
"I am the founding member and banjo player with a Baltimore-based Celtic Rock band called 'The ShamRogues.' And my wife is one of two Irish dancers within the group."
"I wanted a place to relax with a beer. [Wife] wanted a practice stage, and the band wanted a rehearsal space…"
"Throw those three together, and a pub seemed to be the perfect solution!"
And with a little help from friends and family, their dream of owning an Irish pub eventually came true.
The bar took around two weeks to complete. But getting the necessary décor to turn the basement into a proper Irish pub took over three years.
The end result? The most authentic Irish pub you could possibly imagine!
From the dark red hues on the walls to the distinctive green of the bar's color scheme, the pub sets a perfect place to beat homesick blues.
The basement also features bar stools, dartboard, pool table, and an impressive array of beers, stouts, and spirits on offer.
Phelan's Irish Pub has also proven to be the venue for all occasions. That includes the kind of laughs, live music, and merriment you'd expect to find in a regular bar back in Stradbally.
Jim told the outlet:
"Our friends and their friends love the place."
"Several have commandeered the pub for private birthday parties and such.
"Sadly, Katie's brother Sean passed away shortly after we finished the pub so we've even hosted a wake here too. But that only adds to the authenticity."
The pub also provides other surprises for Jim and Katie.
"Possibly the most satisfying (and somewhat annoying) thing about this little hole-in-the-wall is that, after a few drinks, some of our guests tend to forget that they're in a house and not an actual pub."
"We've been known to encounter random people wandering about upstairs trying to find their way back to the bar."
"So much so that I had to add a reminder in the form of a Private Residence door at the base of the steps. It's still not foolproof, but it certainly helps!"