March brings St. Patrick’s Day and Dolan’s Pub provides you a place to celebrate your Irish roots – real or borrowed for the day! For that reason it is only right to feature Dolan’s this month.
The pub is well known for its fantastic staff and besides their tasty menu they serve up live music 4 nights a week!
Dolan’s has been owned since October 2010 by the Hughes family – Barry, Karen and Cyril. Barry is a well known drummer in Fredericton playing with Sleepy Driver and holding a beat at Wednesday’s jam night with The Dolans Late Night Orchestra. His candor & wit in answering our questions is greatly appreciated and provides some insight on what makes Dolan’s unique as a music venue.
Why do you feel it is important to offer the live music experience?
There is a special vibe when one sees a live band; especially a band playing recognizable tunes that everybody knows; they know the melody and lyrics and can sing along with the tune and feel like they’re contributing to the greatness of the night for everybody in the room; it’s a great thing to witness and I love that about Dolan’s Pub. The bands are all great entertainers and they include the crowd in the show as well and it’s a completely different experience for the customer than going to a club with a DJ. Live music is the reason the pub still exists and people from here to Ontario know we’re one of the best places to go in Eastern Canada to see a great band and have a dance or two.
How long have you been presenting live music? How do you decide who to book?
The pub has been around since 1994 and we’ve had live music since that time. I book bands that are not only talented but are good entertainers as well; I book bands that have fun on stage and not just showing up to play and get paid; I book bands that put on a show; they need to be professional in terms of appearance, production, reliability and they must have quality gear; they also must have a set-list that includes songs that people can dance and sing to.
Do you ever stray from the regular schedule?
On occasion, we will have an event on a Monday or Tuesday depending on the situation but for the most part, we stick to the Wednesday to Saturday schedule.
Which shows stand out as something special?
I love all of the shows; even though all bands play various versions of similar tunes, there is a unique aspect to each band that performs here. Some bands are heavier than others; some have a country-rock flair, some have a Celtic, more traditional twist but the various personalities of band members is what draws the folks in. They love the variety of music we offer here
Do you have a favourite band you like to present?
Just like my mom said to me “Barry, I have no favourite son as I love them all the same but you’re pretty special” I’m sure she uttered the exact same thing to my brothers.
Do you have any special events coming up?
I think every weekend is a special event here simply due to how wonderful the staff is and how great our customers are and how much fun our bands are. That said, our busiest day of the year is coming up on Tuesday, March 17th. This is, simply put, the most fantastic day of the year for our pub. The doors open, we’re full within 5 minutes and the room is in an uproar full of laughs and smiles and beautiful old traditional Irish tunes and then the pints start flowing. It’s a beautiful thing to see and brings a tear to me glass eye. Although historically, the day is for the Irish, it really crosses cultural and language barriers as we have customers from every continent usually.
The doors open at 11AM on St. Patrick’s Day, music starts at 1PM until close with Barry’s Privateers and The Frequency taking the stage to entertain the throngs of people who will descend on the Pub decked out in their shamrocks, green beards, leprechaun outfits, etc.
If you could have absolutely anyone in the world play your bar (dead or alive) who would you have?
That is too tough to answer but I guess since it’s an Irish pub and I’m an emotional, Irish-Canadian guy, I’d love to have a band that exemplifies everything Ireland so in that case, I’d have to say “The Chieftains“
There you have it folks! Plenty of reasons to frequent Dolan’s Pub for St. Patrick’s Day and every other day of the year!