We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

living the dream

This caravan has been converted into an Irish pub. And it's awesome

Pints. Anywhere, any time.

The Shebeen The Shebeen

HAVE YOU BEEN stuck in the middle of nowhere with a fierce yearning for a pint of Guinness and a bit of craic? Well, your prayers have been answered.

Enter The Shebeen – a humble caravan put through a Cinderalla-like transformation to become a traditional Irish pub on wheels.

While it’s not the first time someone has tried their hand at a mobile pub, this one comes complete with wooden floors, faux-brick walls and enough memorabilia to put most Irish snugs to shame.

Shebeen3 The Shebeen The Shebeen

The project was the brainchild of Galway-based John Walsh, who came up with the idea as a Friday-afternoon wind down for the staff from his main business, laboratory and commercial fit-out firm Clinical Cabinets.

“It started off as a team-building exercise with my guys, but then, as we were getting clients in, everyone seemed to show great interest in it,” he told

Walsh and a friend bought the 1980s-era caravan a few years ago for an Electric Picnic visit, and ended up holding on to it after they were unable to get a good price for its sale.

Shebeen2 The Shebeen The Shebeen

“We did a bit more brainstorming with it and I suppose our love of Irish pubs made it a natural route,” he said.

“As we started work on it, we started to get a bit more serious – we realised this could turn into a business.”

The hardest part of the job was getting the details right, Walsh said, with the work including sourcing materials like the textured wallpaper and other adornments from auctions and car-boot sales.

The finished product includes seating for 10, bar space for two draught beers and even a working (albeit electric) stove heater.

Shebeen4 The Shebeen The Shebeen

It took about four months of labour – from initial design to finishing touches like the distressed woodwork for that vintage look – and a budget of nearly €20,000 to see it through.

And despite starting life as a bit of fun, the Shebeen has also emerged as a serious business for Walsh.

He has already hired out the mobile pub for a handful of weddings since he started advertised it a month ago – and found a US buyer for the second-ever Shebeen-on-wheels.

Shebeen5 The Shebeen The Shebeen

“We haven’t done any marketing or research into it and we have got this order already,” Walsh said. ”I’m hoping with a bit more of a push we might get more orders for it.”

And the million-euro question – how much for your own Shebeen? Surprisingly cheap, really.

Walsh said the cost of making another pub-on-wheels and delivering it to its new home in Boston would come in at about €30,000, including a voyage across the Atlantic.

But if you can’t afford that kind of coin, a fully-kitted Shebeen can be yours for a weekend from only €1,500. Road trip, anyone?

Applesauce Films / Vimeo

Originally published at 12.20pm

READ: The Irish pub is set to become even harder to ignore on your holidays >

READ: Dublin pub begins ‘Welfare Wednesday’ drinks deal >

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.