There are many Irish pubs around the globe, but some of them, while they have the trappings -- Irish prints on the walls, an Irish-themed menu and Guinness available -- are missing the most important thing: the warm atmosphere you expect in Ireland. That isn't the case in The Dubh Linn Gate, a major dining, drinking and entertainment venue in the resort of Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.
Located in the luxurious Pan Pacific Hotel, The Dubh Linn Gate is one of the places to be in tony Whistler. It offers a menu of Irish and Canadian comfort food (think colcannon and poutine); a selection of Irish beers, including Murphy's, Smithwick's, and, of course, Guinness; varieties of Irish whiskeys, including Jameson and Bushmills, and Irish entertainment.
On a Monday night Dubh Linn Gate had a talented singer named Chad Oliver. He sang some Beatles favorites and country rock very well, but it was when he did a round of Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners and even U2 that he brought the house down.
While the evening entertainment was most enjoyable, diners also like the lunchtime views of the skiers or bikers (depending on the season) from the outdoor patio. But the best thing is the welcoming and helpful attitude of the staff, many of whom come from Ireland, led by Jonathan Dobie. That's what gives it the real Irish pub atmosphere.
For someone like me, who has spent a lifetime sampling Irish pubs, The Dubh Linn House is now a highlight. I was happy to learn they have opened a branch in Vancouver, which I'll certainly try on my last night there before flying back to New York.
Whistler is best known as the location of the skiing events at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The high-end resort has continued its growth as an all-season resort, and is a favorite of mountain bikers as well as skiers. Its location in the Cascade Mountains, two hours north of Vancouver, makes it easily accessible, and its well-planned growth insures that its spectacular scenic beauty will remain unspoiled.
For information on The Dubh Linn Gate, go to www.dubhlinngate.com. For information on Whistler, go to www.whistlerblackcomb.com.