THE SCHOLARS LOUNGE IRISH PUB EXPIERENCE…
Situated in the very heart of beautiful Rome beside the impressive Piazza Venezia, Scholars Lounge can boast to be the most famous bar not only in Rome but in Italy itself. Opened back in September 2005 by Declan Crean and Celestino Cucchiarelli, the establishment has become a highlight in the nightlife of the Eternal City.
Crean is no stranger to bars, having pulled his first pint in his uncle’s bar “The Vicarstown Inn”, in Co. Laois at age 12 and having worked and managed bars all around Europe in Dublin, Hamburg, Paris, Milan, Basel and Rome. The Largest of Rome’s Irish bars, Scholars is now also Italy’s most successful. This is due to numerous factors including it’s warm welcoming Irish staff, superb location, delious food (served seven days a week till midnight), weekly gigs (also some of which are flown over from Ireland – The Wolfe Tones played in September 2015 and The Fureys are due to play in 2017 just to mention a few), karaoke sessions, pub quizzes and sporting events which are shown live on the bars 24 screens with surround sound.
Clientele includes the Anglo-expat community, local Italians, sports fans of all kinds and nationalities, Irish partys getting married in Rome, tourists and American students studying abroad in the city’s several universities. Scholars has had a fair share of celebrities as well over the years, including the likes of former Irish President Mary Mcaleese, Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar, numerous Ambassadors from Ireland, Great Britain, America, Germany, Austrailia and Russia, Italian Rugby player Castrogiovanni, U2’s Dallas Schoo, Actors Sean Penn (Game of Thrones) and Brendon Gleeson (Harry Potter, Braveheart), Italian Musician Tiziano Ferro and even the one and only Justin Bieber, to name but a few.
In 2010 Scholars underwent a major renovation, taking over an adjacent clothes shop and tripling in size. The new section was designed and built in Co. Carlow, Ireland and installed onsite. Wexford-native Finbarr Power designed the pub, with Pat Bolger of Rudkins Joinery in Carlow, doing much of the hand crafted woodwork, furniture and manufacturing. Scholars new section has an upstairs deck, used as a dining area with comfy couches complimenting the stylish wooden chairs and tables sourounded by shelves upon shelves of books creating an intimate Library effect. At capacity, Scholars can hold 800 people. Scholars has now obtained the property to the other side of its premises and will once again be expanding in 2018. This section will end up housing over 350 different whiskies/whiskeys from all over the world and will have a quiter, more relaxed atmosphere compared to the other bars within the establishment.
As well as authentic Irish furniture, Scholars hosts a genuine Irish atmosphere provided by the 25 bar staff, 90% of whom come from the Emerald Isle itself. When Crean boasts to be the largest employer of Irish people in the city, he isn’t joking. On the sporting side, Scholars represents Italy in The Euro Pub League which is an annual international 11 aside pub soccer tournament held in a different European city every year. Scholars Lounge is also proud sponsor of Rome’s only Gaelic Football team and also the sponsor of John Cabot University’s cricket team.
The success of Italy’s most famous Irish Pub hasn’t put on the brakes yet. It’s forever evolving. With craft beers, gins and other new changes going on in the drinks industry , Scholars has recently brought out two new special menus promoting high quality products of both drinks). Scholars is continuously adapting and improving to give its customers the enjoyment, hospitality and authentic Irish food expierence that they desire. Last year Scholars also installed three 500 liter state of the art cooper tanks each holding the raw unpasturised Pilsner Urquell beer which arrives fresh, directly from its brewery in the Czech Repulic every week. Tanks are opened and finished within 5 days to give the punter an incredible tasty, crispy beer expierence second to none.
Last but not least, Scholars Lounge Rome has won a gold medal award for the Irish Whiskey Bar (International) of the Year 2015 at the Irish Whiskey Awards, where it’s extensive range and knowledge of Irish Whiskeys was deservedly recognised at the awards. This year, Scholars has been nominated in 9 out of 12 categories (including Europe’s Best Irish Pub) in the annual Irish Pubs Global awards ceremony due to be held in the Mansion House in Dublin on the 10th of October.
This is a story of an extremely impressive, unique and highly successful Irish pub that keeps improving, keeps giving locals and visitors to Rome a genuine Irish pub experience and above all keeps flying the flag for Ireland.