St. Pat’s Pop-Up Pub Refuses To Serve The Irish To Highlight How Refugees Are Treated

To refocus the current immigration debate from ‘legal status’ to ‘human stories’, Detroit advertising Creative Director Dan Margulis opened the “No Irish Pub”.

The bar opened for one day during Detroit’s St. Patrick’s celebrations. It treated the Irish like America used to treat Irish immigrants. 

A bouncer, echoing America’s ‘No Irish Need Apply’ legacy, refused entry to people of Irish heritage or anyone wearing green, claiming Irish ancestry for the day. 

As you’ll see in the video, the impact was significant.

A video documenting the experience was released Sat., March 17, 2018 (St. Patrick’s Day), and quickly spread organically. By Sunday, the story was covered by COMPLEX, UNIVISION, ABC, NBC, FOX, USA Today, MSN, The Detroit Free Press, The Irish Central, and local TV stations and news sites from Detroit to Texas, LA to the UK.

Margulis calls the No Irish Pub a “social experiment” in tolerance. It was designed to ‘shock people into empathy’ by having them experience the same discrimination suffered by many of their ancestors. The effort got people to react viscerally, not habitually. The video has stirred up heated debate across the web.

CREDITS: Dan Margulis is an awarded ad agency creative director, but the “No Irish Pub” is an independent passion project, not attached to any brands or agencies. The video was directed by Chris Chynoweth and produced by Atlas Industries. Everyone involved volunteered their sweat, blood and time to make the project happen.

Our Thoughts

We love this campaign for so many reasons. We’re in a situation where society is scapegoating immigration as the root of all our problems, and this campaign tackles that head on. I also love the fact that this is the brainchild of an idividual, aided by the generous help of others to create something outwith their normal role. Many Americans feel themselves as being of Irish descent and St Patrick’s Day has become a bigger and bigger holiday over recent few years so this campaign gets straight into that and that’s part of what makes it so successful. A really great campaign.


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