Purpose – The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the changing food culture of Ireland focusing particularly on the evolution of commercial public dining in Dublin 1700‐1900, from taverns, coffeehouses and clubs to the proliferation of hotels and restaurants particularly during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Design/methodology/approach – Using a historical research approach, the paper draws principally on documentary and archival sources, but also uses material culture. Data are analysed using a combination of hermeneutics (Denzin and Lincoln, O'Gorman) and textual analysis (Howell and Prevenier). Findings – The paper traces the various locations of public dining in Dublin 1700‐1900 and reveals that Dublin gentlemen's clubs preceded their London counterparts in owning their own premises, but that the popularity of clubs in both cities resulted in a slower growth of restaurants than in Paris. Competition for clubs appeared in the form of good hotels. The Refreshment Houses and Wine Licences (Ireland) Act 1860 created a more congenial environment for the opening of restaurants, with separate ladies coffee or dining rooms appearing from around 1870 onwards. Originality/value – There is a dearth of research on the history of Irish food and commercial food provision in particular. This paper provides the most comprehensive discussion to date on the development of commercial dining in Dublin 1700‐1900 and suggests that the 1860 legislation might be further explored as a catalyst for the growth of restaurants in London and other British cities.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 2013
Keywords: History; Chefs; Hospitality; Ireland; Restaurant; Gastronomy; Ladies dining; Food industry; Hospitality services