A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Polish entrepreneurial spirit

Warsaw Business Journal

Cultural exchange

A former teacher from Kłodawa is hoping to give the Irish a few lessons in drinking

Plucky Radek Pilat is hoping to tackle the Irish at their own game after opening the first Polish pub in Ireland.
The 28-year-old ex-geography master hopes Biało Czerwoni (White Red), in his adopted home of Limerick in southwest Ireland, will bring in many of the Poles who have moved to the Emerald Isle and appeal to locals at the same time.
And the initial signs are very encouraging, Pilat says. On his opening night, just over a fortnight ago, the mix of Poles and Irish was 50-50 and they barely touched the Guinness and Heineken he had on tap.
“They all wanted to know what Polish beer I had and they finished off all eight cases that I had of Okocim,” he told the Limerick Post. “It’s seven-percent alcohol as opposed to the 4.3 percent of Heineken. They called it Black Label – it was our biggest seller.”
Ireland is one of the handful of EU countries that has lifted employment barriers to citizens of the new EU members. It is estimated that around 3,000 Poles have now moved to Limerick, forming a sizeable and well-liked community.
“It would be silly opening an Irish pub for Polish people in Ireland so I’ve just decorated it in red and white, like the Polish flag. I play only Polish music, all the staff are Polish and I’ve also got Polish TV,” he said.
Pilat added, however, that he is under pressure to play R&B in his pub from his fellow countrymen, so has agreed to dilute his homespun sounds with Destiny’s Child and Anastasia.
He moved to Ireland two years ago after a friend called and offered him the chance of working in a newsagent’s shop. “I didn’t have to think twice about it,” he said. Since then, Pilat has found jobs for 15 friends and family in Limerick, and most importantly has also found love. Pilat and Nathalie Ouzzame, 24, from Paris, now plan to wed in Poland later this summer after having firmly established what will inevitably be dubbed ‘The Polish Pub’ by locals.
Asked whether he had any regrets about his life in Ireland, though, he had to admit there was one fly in the ointment: “I really miss the Polish bread and the ham sausages.”

The bread here really is fantastic.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you be so kind as to give me the exact address of this Polish pub?

My e-mail: daniela.rick@gmx.de

Thanks in advance.

Yours faithfully


4/14/2008 11:42:00 AM  

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