Dublin Square makes top 50 list

Source: Lauren Gibbons, statenews.com

Wednesday, 07th Sept, 2011

When employees of Dublin Square Irish Pub found out their establishment made Nightclub & Bar Magazine’s Next 50 list, they thought it might be a hoax.

MSU alumnus Bobby Issac, left, enjoys a Black and Tan with Waterford, Mich., resident Shawn Abraham on Tuesday at Dublin Square, 327 Abbot Road. The East Lansing restaurant and pub recently was ranked one of the top-150 up-and-coming bars to watch in the nation in Nightclub & Bar Magazine. Dublin Square opened its doors in 2007 and specializes in serving Irish food, drink and entertainment to the East Lansing community.

Eric Allchin, Dublin Square’s assistant general manager, said Dublin Square was notified of an opportunity to purchase a plaque to honor its inclusion in the list, a revenue-based ranking of businesses in the nightlife industry from across the U.S. Skeptical at first, Allchin looked into the list and was honored to find Dublin Square had been mentioned.

“I came to find out we actually had been included, which is pretty cool,” he said.

Nightclub & Bar Magazine’s Next 50 list is an extension of its Top 100 list of up-and-coming bars, and is a new addition to the publication’s annual tradition, Publisher and Editorial Director Donna Hood Crecca said.

Because the lists are compiled from surveys submitted by the magazine’s readership, rankings are based on each establishment’s revenue from 2010, and the list is open to any of the 250,000 businesses licensed to sell alcohol in the U.S. Many successful smaller establishments in the nightlife industry aren’t recognized on the national level — a main motivation for the magazine to begin the Top 50 list, Crecca said.

“Smaller operators … tend to be really innovative and passionate,” Crecca said. “For them to be pulling in those kinds of numbers (about $3 million-$5 million), they must really be something special.”

Dublin Square opened its doors in 2007 and has served Irish food, drinks and entertainment to East Lansing ever since.

“We always look for ways to attract more and different types of people,” Allchin said. “It’s nice to be recognized for the fact that we’ve been able to do that, and hard work pays off.”

The generally pleasant atmosphere of Dublin Square keeps many students coming back, political science senior Heaven Sharon said. Sharon said she has been to Dublin Square more than 30 times while living in the area and will continue to frequent it while she lives in East Lansing.

“The lines (at Dublin Square) are always long, but it’s worth the wait,” Sharon said. “Everyone I know always goes there.”

Jeffery Elsworth, an associate professor in MSU’s School of Hospitality Business, said Dublin Square likely was able to rank on Nightclub & Bar Magazine’s list because the establishment caters to permanent residents and families as well as the student crowd. Citing Dublin Square’s menu, patio, staff and its second bar as a few of its strengths, Elsworth said he was pleased to see a worthy local business in the Next 50.

“It’s nice to see some place nominated that’s varied (and) has an appeal to a large population,” Elsworth said.

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