By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With Rock in Rio 2013 just around the corner (beginning on September 13th), the Lapa Irish Pub has added new focus on their rock ‘n’ roll lineup; with bands playing live every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The American expatriate-owned pub in Rio is also adding to their international beer selection, offering the best brews from around the world.
Located under the famous Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Arches) and seconds away from Circo Voador, Fundição Progresso and the Selaron Steps, The Lapa Irish Pub sits in the heart of one of Rio’s most lively and music-filled neighborhoods.
In the area known for its impromptu samba gatherings and live shows by big name international and Brazilian acts, Lapa Irish Pub rocks its corner spot with live bands like Made in Rock, O Jardim Magico, U2 Cover Rio, Banda 365, Divina Decadencia and Zero Hora.
The shows begin around 11PM on Fridays and Saturdays, 8PM on Thursdays and often go strong until 3AM. For those aspiring to belt out their own version of rock ‘n’ roll, the increasingly popular Karaoke Rock night opens the stage every Wednesday starting at 7PM.
Under the new ownership of Bob Fetterman since September of last year, the pub has been building the following at the already successful venue, which originally opened its doors in 2009. “We had 611 people here for our St. Patrick’s Day event this year,” Fetterman told The Rio Times.
Fetterman, who also owns the Rio Bohemia Hostel located above the pub explained, “I kept the Irish theme of the pub because of the previous owners and it reminds me of bars I liked while living in America.”
The pub has of course added some new own touches, like Happy Hour specials from 5PM to 9PM every Tuesday and Thursday and the increasingly popular rocker-karaoke nights.
“The Lapa Irish Pub is a fabulous place,” partron and American expatriate Billy Carter told The Rio Times. “It’s very diverse. The entertainment here is always great including the karaoke night on Wednesday. The DJ here has a wide range of songs, Brazilian, American, everything.”
Similar to Rock in Rio music festival, which despite its name, is not exclusively rock genre, Fetterman says of the Irish Pub, “We’re also diversifying in terms of music. We’re adding more jazz, blues and Irish acts to the schedule.”
Café Irlanda will bring Irish music to the pub on September 20th while Banda BR-61 will bring it’s blues rock sounds on Sept. 28th. On August 3rd, U2 Cover Rio, a U2 cover band, played and had patrons on their feet singing and clapping along.
The pub’s Irish bartender Rudy Casari danced while mixing drinks and serving the numerous beers on tap. He told The Rio Times that Guinness was one of the most popular chopp beers (draft beers) and owner Bob Fetterman added, “We do get people in here who just come for our beer selection. Some Brazilians hear about it and want to come in and try beers they’ve never had before.”
That selection includes the chopps; Heineken, London Pride and Guinness and for the longnecks; Heineken, Stella Artois, Budweiser and Dos Equis XX. Other specialty beers are categorized by nation. From Ireland there is Wexford Irish Cream and selections from the UK include; Suffolk Strong, Old Specked Hen, and Newcastle Brown Ale. From the Czech Republic there’s Pilsner Urquell and from Belgium the selection includes; Deus, Tripel Karmeliet; Chimay; and Leffe Blonde among others.
To help their mix of local, expatriate and traveling patrons better communicate with each other, the bar is also hosting a Portuguese/English language exchange every Tuesday at 7PM. Cost for participation is R$10 with free food included.
Lapa Irish Pub
Rua Evaristo da Veiga, 147 – Lapa
Tel: (21) 2221-7236
Tue – Thu: 5PM – 12AM
Fri – Sat: 5PM – 3AM
* This is an Advertorial for the Lapa Irish Pub.