Mike Charron

Oct 24, 2011 17:52 댓글 없음
19519

Identity: Barman,The Craic and the Porter
Hometown: New York, USA
Text: Hugh McCafferty
Photos: Nobu Tanaka
Barman, chef, English teacher, student of go, boxer, bouncer – Mike Charron certainly has a diverse CV. The proprietor of Oyafuko-dori’s The Craic and the Porter first came to Japan 25 years ago, where the easy pace of life suited him well.
The former Asian Studies major soon started to study go full time and, although the pressures of supporting himself eventually forced him to quit, he still keeps a board in his bar, should anybody want a game.
For a man who has dedicated many years of his life to pulling pints, it comes as a surprise that Mike actually enjoys cooking far more than pouring beer, as evidenced by the eclectic menu in his bar. He is also a keen jazz enthusiast and likes to get musicians in as often as possible.
In the true tradition of all good Irish publicans, Mike’s stories are best shared across the bar over a pint of Guinness. Fukuoka Now settled down with him recently for a quiet drink.

What is your Irish heritage?

My ancestors came over during the famine. My mom’s side is all Irish and on my dad’s side, there’s French somewhere along the way, hence my surname. On my first trip to Dublin 30 years ago, people were saying, “Oh, you’ve got such a beautiful Irish name” but I think they misheard me and thought it was Shannon (laughs).
You opened your first bar, Michael’s Pub, nine years ago in Tenjin 5-chome. What led you to move on from that?
I was so far off the beaten track at the time and in the spring time it rained every day. People wouldn’t come down to my place. Business just got so bad that I got another job.

 

19520

I worked at a place called Beers Bar. It was my dream bar. The guy there was a friend of mine at the time and said to me “I want you to take over my bar.” He wasn’t a great businessman – he hired staff that robbed him blind and he just couldn’t figure out how he was losing money. He said, “Give me the key money and everything’s yours.” So I gave him a third of the key money and he screwed me over. He went to the boss and said, “I’m out of here.” Then his boss wanted all of the key money. I found out the next week that when he said “everything is yours” he also meant the bills.
I had trouble buying beer from companies for years after, so that’s why I changed the name to The Craic and the Porter. It was a good thing I did because I wouldn’t have had connections with certain beer companies otherwise.
Two months after taking over that place, I moved to my current location. That was about four years ago.
It looks like it’s just yourself working here – how many hours do you put in a week?
I work seven days a week. If I do get out early, it’s because I’m so tired that I just need a break. I’m also trying not to drink so much because (slaps belly) I’m putting the weight on (laughs).
Speaking of bellies, what’s your favourite Irish drink and food?
Drink – I would say John Powers [whiskey] on the rocks. Irish food? Colcannon I would say is my favourite.
And which is the better Irish stout – Guinness or Murphy’s?
Guinness, of course, you’d drink nine times out of ten. Murphy’s is nice – I carry it on draft here sometimes. Guinness is the best there is, though, you can’t improve on it.
How has Fukuoka changed since you’ve got here?
The food is so much better now – everything is so much cheaper. People seem to forget quickly how much things have changed. When I got here, everything you wanted was cheaper overseas. Electronic products that were made in Japan were half the price to buy in America that they were here. Food was so expensive here. There was very little Western food. People are healthier after the market opened up – eating better food and getting more health-conscious.
What’s the buzz like in Fukuoka compared to what it was when you got here first?

 

19522

It’s so transient now – you don’t see a lot of the people you used to see. I guess when you get married and have kids your life changes but the foreigners used to go out every night of the week – you’d teach until nine or nine thirty and then you’d all go out together and that doesn’t happen like it used to. Now, when you go out, the foreigners are all from out of town and no one knows anybody here.
I feel like you come to Japan and you don’t feel like you get any older. You go home and see people your own age and it’s shocking. There’s a youthful kind of atmosphere here.
Was Fukuoka always such an international city?
I think if I lived anywhere else, I’d speak better Japanese (laughs).
What’s your best memory of working here?
The Irish under-21s rugby team was here two years and we had a great time. I’ve had a few great musicians in here too – Mike Price [jazz trumpeter] is a friend of mine and whenever he comes to Fukuoka, he stays in my house and we have a little jam here in the pub. I’ve had a few Irish musicians in as well.
Back in my first pub, this Irish mate of mine used to always get me drunk after work and I remember one morning riding home on my bicycle and a cute girl walked by and I turned my head and I hit a cast-iron handrail – it hit me right on the cheek. I used to be a boxer, but I was never hit as hard as this – I was hit almost senseless. The girl just smiled and kept going.
You were a boxer?
I was a boxer for five years. I fought a few pros, but it was mostly amateur. I mostly boxed in upstate New York. At Off Broadway, I worked as a bouncer a few times. Here in Japan, everything is so peaceful, though – it’s the easiest place to live.
I’ll be sure not to start any brawls at the bar, then. Have you got any interesting events coming up at The Craic and The Porter?

 

19524

Beers for Books are an organisation that sends books to children in third world countries. So, they get a bar to put on an event and I give a hundred yen from every pint I sell to them. I take a hit but it’s worth it. That will be held on March 27/28, which is a Monday and a Tuesday.

On April 5, I have my fourth year anniversary party, so come around for some ¥500 pints.
The Craic and the Porter
2F Kusano Building, Oyafuko-dori.

 

 

 

 

19519

職業:アイリッシュ・バー「ザ・クラック・アンド・ザ・ポーター」経営
出身:アメリカ・ニューヨーク
Text: Hugh McCafferty
Photos: Nobu Tanaka

バーテンダーに料理人、英語の教師に、囲碁教室の生徒、ボクサーに用心棒・・・マイク・シャロンは、確かにさまざまな学歴・職歴を持っている。いまや親富孝通りにあるアイリッシュバー「ザ・クラック・アンド・ザ・ポーター」の経営者に納まっているマイクが、日本を初めて訪れたのは25年前。日本ののんびりした空気が彼の生活ペースになじんだようだ。最初は、アジア研究を専攻していたが、ほどなくフルタイムで囲碁の勉強に打ち込むようになった。最終的には生活のために碁の道はあきらめざるを得なくなったが、今も彼のバーには碁盤を置いている。客が一局打ちたくなったら、いつでも出してくれるだろう。そんなマイクは、長い年月をアイリッシュビールを注ぐことに費やしてきたわけだが、驚くことにビールを注ぐことよりも実際には料理する方が好きなのだそうだ。彼の和洋折衷のメニューを見れば、その言葉にもうなずけるだろう。同時に彼は熱心なジャズ・ファンでもあり、しばしばミュージシャンを店に呼んでいる。素晴らしいアイリッシュパブの例に漏れず、マイクの一代記は、ギネスの1パイントを飲みながら聞くといっそう味わい深い。「ザ・クラック・アンド・ザ・ポーター」は2011年4月5日で開店4周年。この機会に立ち寄って、ビアグラスを掲げるのはいかが?
ザ・クラック・アンド・ザ・ポーター
中央区天神3-5-16草野ビル2F

 

 

 

 

19519

Identity: Barman,The Craic and the Porter
Hometown: New York, USA
Text: Hugh McCafferty
Photos: Nobu Tanaka
Barman, chef, English teacher, student of go, boxer, bouncer – Mike Charron certainly has a diverse CV. The proprietor of Oyafuko-dori’s The Craic and the Porter first came to Japan 25 years ago, where the easy pace of life suited him well.
The former Asian Studies major soon started to study go full time and, although the pressures of supporting himself eventually forced him to quit, he still keeps a board in his bar, should anybody want a game.
For a man who has dedicated many years of his life to pulling pints, it comes as a surprise that Mike actually enjoys cooking far more than pouring beer, as evidenced by the eclectic menu in his bar. He is also a keen jazz enthusiast and likes to get musicians in as often as possible.
In the true tradition of all good Irish publicans, Mike’s stories are best shared across the bar over a pint of Guinness. Fukuoka Now settled down with him recently for a quiet drink.

What is your Irish heritage?

My ancestors came over during the famine. My mom’s side is all Irish and on my dad’s side, there’s French somewhere along the way, hence my surname. On my first trip to Dublin 30 years ago, people were saying, “Oh, you’ve got such a beautiful Irish name” but I think they misheard me and thought it was Shannon (laughs).
You opened your first bar, Michael’s Pub, nine years ago in Tenjin 5-chome. What led you to move on from that?
I was so far off the beaten track at the time and in the spring time it rained every day. People wouldn’t come down to my place. Business just got so bad that I got another job.

 

19520

I worked at a place called Beers Bar. It was my dream bar. The guy there was a friend of mine at the time and said to me “I want you to take over my bar.” He wasn’t a great businessman – he hired staff that robbed him blind and he just couldn’t figure out how he was losing money. He said, “Give me the key money and everything’s yours.” So I gave him a third of the key money and he screwed me over. He went to the boss and said, “I’m out of here.” Then his boss wanted all of the key money. I found out the next week that when he said “everything is yours” he also meant the bills.
I had trouble buying beer from companies for years after, so that’s why I changed the name to The Craic and the Porter. It was a good thing I did because I wouldn’t have had connections with certain beer companies otherwise.
Two months after taking over that place, I moved to my current location. That was about four years ago.
It looks like it’s just yourself working here – how many hours do you put in a week?
I work seven days a week. If I do get out early, it’s because I’m so tired that I just need a break. I’m also trying not to drink so much because (slaps belly) I’m putting the weight on (laughs).
Speaking of bellies, what’s your favourite Irish drink and food?
Drink – I would say John Powers [whiskey] on the rocks. Irish food? Colcannon I would say is my favourite.
And which is the better Irish stout – Guinness or Murphy’s?
Guinness, of course, you’d drink nine times out of ten. Murphy’s is nice – I carry it on draft here sometimes. Guinness is the best there is, though, you can’t improve on it.
How has Fukuoka changed since you’ve got here?
The food is so much better now – everything is so much cheaper. People seem to forget quickly how much things have changed. When I got here, everything you wanted was cheaper overseas. Electronic products that were made in Japan were half the price to buy in America that they were here. Food was so expensive here. There was very little Western food. People are healthier after the market opened up – eating better food and getting more health-conscious.
What’s the buzz like in Fukuoka compared to what it was when you got here first?

 

19522

It’s so transient now – you don’t see a lot of the people you used to see. I guess when you get married and have kids your life changes but the foreigners used to go out every night of the week – you’d teach until nine or nine thirty and then you’d all go out together and that doesn’t happen like it used to. Now, when you go out, the foreigners are all from out of town and no one knows anybody here.
I feel like you come to Japan and you don’t feel like you get any older. You go home and see people your own age and it’s shocking. There’s a youthful kind of atmosphere here.
Was Fukuoka always such an international city?
I think if I lived anywhere else, I’d speak better Japanese (laughs).
What’s your best memory of working here?
The Irish under-21s rugby team was here two years and we had a great time. I’ve had a few great musicians in here too – Mike Price [jazz trumpeter] is a friend of mine and whenever he comes to Fukuoka, he stays in my house and we have a little jam here in the pub. I’ve had a few Irish musicians in as well.
Back in my first pub, this Irish mate of mine used to always get me drunk after work and I remember one morning riding home on my bicycle and a cute girl walked by and I turned my head and I hit a cast-iron handrail – it hit me right on the cheek. I used to be a boxer, but I was never hit as hard as this – I was hit almost senseless. The girl just smiled and kept going.
You were a boxer?
I was a boxer for five years. I fought a few pros, but it was mostly amateur. I mostly boxed in upstate New York. At Off Broadway, I worked as a bouncer a few times. Here in Japan, everything is so peaceful, though – it’s the easiest place to live.
I’ll be sure not to start any brawls at the bar, then. Have you got any interesting events coming up at The Craic and The Porter?

 

19524

Beers for Books are an organisation that sends books to children in third world countries. So, they get a bar to put on an event and I give a hundred yen from every pint I sell to them. I take a hit but it’s worth it. That will be held on March 27/28, which is a Monday and a Tuesday.

On April 5, I have my fourth year anniversary party, so come around for some ¥500 pints.
The Craic and the Porter
2F Kusano Building, Oyafuko-dori.

 

 

 

 

19519

Identity: Barman,The Craic and the Porter
Hometown: New York, USA
Text: Hugh McCafferty
Photos: Nobu Tanaka
Barman, chef, English teacher, student of go, boxer, bouncer – Mike Charron certainly has a diverse CV. The proprietor of Oyafuko-dori’s The Craic and the Porter first came to Japan 25 years ago, where the easy pace of life suited him well.
The former Asian Studies major soon started to study go full time and, although the pressures of supporting himself eventually forced him to quit, he still keeps a board in his bar, should anybody want a game.
For a man who has dedicated many years of his life to pulling pints, it comes as a surprise that Mike actually enjoys cooking far more than pouring beer, as evidenced by the eclectic menu in his bar. He is also a keen jazz enthusiast and likes to get musicians in as often as possible.
In the true tradition of all good Irish publicans, Mike’s stories are best shared across the bar over a pint of Guinness. Fukuoka Now settled down with him recently for a quiet drink.

What is your Irish heritage?

My ancestors came over during the famine. My mom’s side is all Irish and on my dad’s side, there’s French somewhere along the way, hence my surname. On my first trip to Dublin 30 years ago, people were saying, “Oh, you’ve got such a beautiful Irish name” but I think they misheard me and thought it was Shannon (laughs).
You opened your first bar, Michael’s Pub, nine years ago in Tenjin 5-chome. What led you to move on from that?
I was so far off the beaten track at the time and in the spring time it rained every day. People wouldn’t come down to my place. Business just got so bad that I got another job.

 

19520

I worked at a place called Beers Bar. It was my dream bar. The guy there was a friend of mine at the time and said to me “I want you to take over my bar.” He wasn’t a great businessman – he hired staff that robbed him blind and he just couldn’t figure out how he was losing money. He said, “Give me the key money and everything’s yours.” So I gave him a third of the key money and he screwed me over. He went to the boss and said, “I’m out of here.” Then his boss wanted all of the key money. I found out the next week that when he said “everything is yours” he also meant the bills.
I had trouble buying beer from companies for years after, so that’s why I changed the name to The Craic and the Porter. It was a good thing I did because I wouldn’t have had connections with certain beer companies otherwise.
Two months after taking over that place, I moved to my current location. That was about four years ago.
It looks like it’s just yourself working here – how many hours do you put in a week?
I work seven days a week. If I do get out early, it’s because I’m so tired that I just need a break. I’m also trying not to drink so much because (slaps belly) I’m putting the weight on (laughs).
Speaking of bellies, what’s your favourite Irish drink and food?
Drink – I would say John Powers [whiskey] on the rocks. Irish food? Colcannon I would say is my favourite.
And which is the better Irish stout – Guinness or Murphy’s?
Guinness, of course, you’d drink nine times out of ten. Murphy’s is nice – I carry it on draft here sometimes. Guinness is the best there is, though, you can’t improve on it.
How has Fukuoka changed since you’ve got here?
The food is so much better now – everything is so much cheaper. People seem to forget quickly how much things have changed. When I got here, everything you wanted was cheaper overseas. Electronic products that were made in Japan were half the price to buy in America that they were here. Food was so expensive here. There was very little Western food. People are healthier after the market opened up – eating better food and getting more health-conscious.
What’s the buzz like in Fukuoka compared to what it was when you got here first?

 

19522

It’s so transient now – you don’t see a lot of the people you used to see. I guess when you get married and have kids your life changes but the foreigners used to go out every night of the week – you’d teach until nine or nine thirty and then you’d all go out together and that doesn’t happen like it used to. Now, when you go out, the foreigners are all from out of town and no one knows anybody here.
I feel like you come to Japan and you don’t feel like you get any older. You go home and see people your own age and it’s shocking. There’s a youthful kind of atmosphere here.
Was Fukuoka always such an international city?
I think if I lived anywhere else, I’d speak better Japanese (laughs).
What’s your best memory of working here?
The Irish under-21s rugby team was here two years and we had a great time. I’ve had a few great musicians in here too – Mike Price [jazz trumpeter] is a friend of mine and whenever he comes to Fukuoka, he stays in my house and we have a little jam here in the pub. I’ve had a few Irish musicians in as well.
Back in my first pub, this Irish mate of mine used to always get me drunk after work and I remember one morning riding home on my bicycle and a cute girl walked by and I turned my head and I hit a cast-iron handrail – it hit me right on the cheek. I used to be a boxer, but I was never hit as hard as this – I was hit almost senseless. The girl just smiled and kept going.
You were a boxer?
I was a boxer for five years. I fought a few pros, but it was mostly amateur. I mostly boxed in upstate New York. At Off Broadway, I worked as a bouncer a few times. Here in Japan, everything is so peaceful, though – it’s the easiest place to live.
I’ll be sure not to start any brawls at the bar, then. Have you got any interesting events coming up at The Craic and The Porter?

 

19524

Beers for Books are an organisation that sends books to children in third world countries. So, they get a bar to put on an event and I give a hundred yen from every pint I sell to them. I take a hit but it’s worth it. That will be held on March 27/28, which is a Monday and a Tuesday.

On April 5, I have my fourth year anniversary party, so come around for some ¥500 pints.
The Craic and the Porter
2F Kusano Building, Oyafuko-dori.

 

19519

Identity: Barman,The Craic and the Porter
Hometown: New York, USA
Text: Hugh McCafferty
Photos: Nobu Tanaka
Barman, chef, English teacher, student of go, boxer, bouncer – Mike Charron certainly has a diverse CV. The proprietor of Oyafuko-dori’s The Craic and the Porter first came to Japan 25 years ago, where the easy pace of life suited him well.
The former Asian Studies major soon started to study go full time and, although the pressures of supporting himself eventually forced him to quit, he still keeps a board in his bar, should anybody want a game.
For a man who has dedicated many years of his life to pulling pints, it comes as a surprise that Mike actually enjoys cooking far more than pouring beer, as evidenced by the eclectic menu in his bar. He is also a keen jazz enthusiast and likes to get musicians in as often as possible.
In the true tradition of all good Irish publicans, Mike’s stories are best shared across the bar over a pint of Guinness. Fukuoka Now settled down with him recently for a quiet drink.

What is your Irish heritage?

My ancestors came over during the famine. My mom’s side is all Irish and on my dad’s side, there’s French somewhere along the way, hence my surname. On my first trip to Dublin 30 years ago, people were saying, “Oh, you’ve got such a beautiful Irish name” but I think they misheard me and thought it was Shannon (laughs).
You opened your first bar, Michael’s Pub, nine years ago in Tenjin 5-chome. What led you to move on from that?
I was so far off the beaten track at the time and in the spring time it rained every day. People wouldn’t come down to my place. Business just got so bad that I got another job.

 

19520

I worked at a place called Beers Bar. It was my dream bar. The guy there was a friend of mine at the time and said to me “I want you to take over my bar.” He wasn’t a great businessman – he hired staff that robbed him blind and he just couldn’t figure out how he was losing money. He said, “Give me the key money and everything’s yours.” So I gave him a third of the key money and he screwed me over. He went to the boss and said, “I’m out of here.” Then his boss wanted all of the key money. I found out the next week that when he said “everything is yours” he also meant the bills.
I had trouble buying beer from companies for years after, so that’s why I changed the name to The Craic and the Porter. It was a good thing I did because I wouldn’t have had connections with certain beer companies otherwise.
Two months after taking over that place, I moved to my current location. That was about four years ago.
It looks like it’s just yourself working here – how many hours do you put in a week?
I work seven days a week. If I do get out early, it’s because I’m so tired that I just need a break. I’m also trying not to drink so much because (slaps belly) I’m putting the weight on (laughs).
Speaking of bellies, what’s your favourite Irish drink and food?
Drink – I would say John Powers [whiskey] on the rocks. Irish food? Colcannon I would say is my favourite.
And which is the better Irish stout – Guinness or Murphy’s?
Guinness, of course, you’d drink nine times out of ten. Murphy’s is nice – I carry it on draft here sometimes. Guinness is the best there is, though, you can’t improve on it.
How has Fukuoka changed since you’ve got here?
The food is so much better now – everything is so much cheaper. People seem to forget quickly how much things have changed. When I got here, everything you wanted was cheaper overseas. Electronic products that were made in Japan were half the price to buy in America that they were here. Food was so expensive here. There was very little Western food. People are healthier after the market opened up – eating better food and getting more health-conscious.
What’s the buzz like in Fukuoka compared to what it was when you got here first?

 

19522

It’s so transient now – you don’t see a lot of the people you used to see. I guess when you get married and have kids your life changes but the foreigners used to go out every night of the week – you’d teach until nine or nine thirty and then you’d all go out together and that doesn’t happen like it used to. Now, when you go out, the foreigners are all from out of town and no one knows anybody here.
I feel like you come to Japan and you don’t feel like you get any older. You go home and see people your own age and it’s shocking. There’s a youthful kind of atmosphere here.
Was Fukuoka always such an international city?
I think if I lived anywhere else, I’d speak better Japanese (laughs).
What’s your best memory of working here?
The Irish under-21s rugby team was here two years and we had a great time. I’ve had a few great musicians in here too – Mike Price [jazz trumpeter] is a friend of mine and whenever he comes to Fukuoka, he stays in my house and we have a little jam here in the pub. I’ve had a few Irish musicians in as well.
Back in my first pub, this Irish mate of mine used to always get me drunk after work and I remember one morning riding home on my bicycle and a cute girl walked by and I turned my head and I hit a cast-iron handrail – it hit me right on the cheek. I used to be a boxer, but I was never hit as hard as this – I was hit almost senseless. The girl just smiled and kept going.
You were a boxer?
I was a boxer for five years. I fought a few pros, but it was mostly amateur. I mostly boxed in upstate New York. At Off Broadway, I worked as a bouncer a few times. Here in Japan, everything is so peaceful, though – it’s the easiest place to live.
I’ll be sure not to start any brawls at the bar, then. Have you got any interesting events coming up at The Craic and The Porter?

 

19524

Beers for Books are an organisation that sends books to children in third world countries. So, they get a bar to put on an event and I give a hundred yen from every pint I sell to them. I take a hit but it’s worth it. That will be held on March 27/28, which is a Monday and a Tuesday.

On April 5, I have my fourth year anniversary party, so come around for some ¥500 pints.
The Craic and the Porter
2F Kusano Building, Oyafuko-dori.

 

 

 

 

19519

職業:アイリッシュ・バー「ザ・クラック・アンド・ザ・ポーター」経営
出身:アメリカ・ニューヨーク
Text: Hugh McCafferty
Photos: Nobu Tanaka

バーテンダーに料理人、英語の教師に、囲碁教室の生徒、ボクサーに用心棒・・・マイク・シャロンは、確かにさまざまな学歴・職歴を持っている。いまや親富孝通りにあるアイリッシュバー「ザ・クラック・アンド・ザ・ポーター」の経営者に納まっているマイクが、日本を初めて訪れたのは25年前。日本ののんびりした空気が彼の生活ペースになじんだようだ。最初は、アジア研究を専攻していたが、ほどなくフルタイムで囲碁の勉強に打ち込むようになった。最終的には生活のために碁の道はあきらめざるを得なくなったが、今も彼のバーには碁盤を置いている。客が一局打ちたくなったら、いつでも出してくれるだろう。そんなマイクは、長い年月をアイリッシュビールを注ぐことに費やしてきたわけだが、驚くことにビールを注ぐことよりも実際には料理する方が好きなのだそうだ。彼の和洋折衷のメニューを見れば、その言葉にもうなずけるだろう。同時に彼は熱心なジャズ・ファンでもあり、しばしばミュージシャンを店に呼んでいる。素晴らしいアイリッシュパブの例に漏れず、マイクの一代記は、ギネスの1パイントを飲みながら聞くといっそう味わい深い。「ザ・クラック・アンド・ザ・ポーター」は2011年4月5日で開店4周年。この機会に立ち寄って、ビアグラスを掲げるのはいかが?
ザ・クラック・アンド・ザ・ポーター
中央区天神3-5-16草野ビル2F

 

 

 

 

19519

Identity: Barman,The Craic and the Porter
Hometown: New York, USA
Text: Hugh McCafferty
Photos: Nobu Tanaka
Barman, chef, English teacher, student of go, boxer, bouncer – Mike Charron certainly has a diverse CV. The proprietor of Oyafuko-dori’s The Craic and the Porter first came to Japan 25 years ago, where the easy pace of life suited him well.
The former Asian Studies major soon started to study go full time and, although the pressures of supporting himself eventually forced him to quit, he still keeps a board in his bar, should anybody want a game.
For a man who has dedicated many years of his life to pulling pints, it comes as a surprise that Mike actually enjoys cooking far more than pouring beer, as evidenced by the eclectic menu in his bar. He is also a keen jazz enthusiast and likes to get musicians in as often as possible.
In the true tradition of all good Irish publicans, Mike’s stories are best shared across the bar over a pint of Guinness. Fukuoka Now settled down with him recently for a quiet drink.

What is your Irish heritage?

My ancestors came over during the famine. My mom’s side is all Irish and on my dad’s side, there’s French somewhere along the way, hence my surname. On my first trip to Dublin 30 years ago, people were saying, “Oh, you’ve got such a beautiful Irish name” but I think they misheard me and thought it was Shannon (laughs).
You opened your first bar, Michael’s Pub, nine years ago in Tenjin 5-chome. What led you to move on from that?
I was so far off the beaten track at the time and in the spring time it rained every day. People wouldn’t come down to my place. Business just got so bad that I got another job.

 

19520

I worked at a place called Beers Bar. It was my dream bar. The guy there was a friend of mine at the time and said to me “I want you to take over my bar.” He wasn’t a great businessman – he hired staff that robbed him blind and he just couldn’t figure out how he was losing money. He said, “Give me the key money and everything’s yours.” So I gave him a third of the key money and he screwed me over. He went to the boss and said, “I’m out of here.” Then his boss wanted all of the key money. I found out the next week that when he said “everything is yours” he also meant the bills.
I had trouble buying beer from companies for years after, so that’s why I changed the name to The Craic and the Porter. It was a good thing I did because I wouldn’t have had connections with certain beer companies otherwise.
Two months after taking over that place, I moved to my current location. That was about four years ago.
It looks like it’s just yourself working here – how many hours do you put in a week?
I work seven days a week. If I do get out early, it’s because I’m so tired that I just need a break. I’m also trying not to drink so much because (slaps belly) I’m putting the weight on (laughs).
Speaking of bellies, what’s your favourite Irish drink and food?
Drink – I would say John Powers [whiskey] on the rocks. Irish food? Colcannon I would say is my favourite.
And which is the better Irish stout – Guinness or Murphy’s?
Guinness, of course, you’d drink nine times out of ten. Murphy’s is nice – I carry it on draft here sometimes. Guinness is the best there is, though, you can’t improve on it.
How has Fukuoka changed since you’ve got here?
The food is so much better now – everything is so much cheaper. People seem to forget quickly how much things have changed. When I got here, everything you wanted was cheaper overseas. Electronic products that were made in Japan were half the price to buy in America that they were here. Food was so expensive here. There was very little Western food. People are healthier after the market opened up – eating better food and getting more health-conscious.
What’s the buzz like in Fukuoka compared to what it was when you got here first?

 

19522

It’s so transient now – you don’t see a lot of the people you used to see. I guess when you get married and have kids your life changes but the foreigners used to go out every night of the week – you’d teach until nine or nine thirty and then you’d all go out together and that doesn’t happen like it used to. Now, when you go out, the foreigners are all from out of town and no one knows anybody here.
I feel like you come to Japan and you don’t feel like you get any older. You go home and see people your own age and it’s shocking. There’s a youthful kind of atmosphere here.
Was Fukuoka always such an international city?
I think if I lived anywhere else, I’d speak better Japanese (laughs).
What’s your best memory of working here?
The Irish under-21s rugby team was here two years and we had a great time. I’ve had a few great musicians in here too – Mike Price [jazz trumpeter] is a friend of mine and whenever he comes to Fukuoka, he stays in my house and we have a little jam here in the pub. I’ve had a few Irish musicians in as well.
Back in my first pub, this Irish mate of mine used to always get me drunk after work and I remember one morning riding home on my bicycle and a cute girl walked by and I turned my head and I hit a cast-iron handrail – it hit me right on the cheek. I used to be a boxer, but I was never hit as hard as this – I was hit almost senseless. The girl just smiled and kept going.
You were a boxer?
I was a boxer for five years. I fought a few pros, but it was mostly amateur. I mostly boxed in upstate New York. At Off Broadway, I worked as a bouncer a few times. Here in Japan, everything is so peaceful, though – it’s the easiest place to live.
I’ll be sure not to start any brawls at the bar, then. Have you got any interesting events coming up at The Craic and The Porter?

 

19524

Beers for Books are an organisation that sends books to children in third world countries. So, they get a bar to put on an event and I give a hundred yen from every pint I sell to them. I take a hit but it’s worth it. That will be held on March 27/28, which is a Monday and a Tuesday.

On April 5, I have my fourth year anniversary party, so come around for some ¥500 pints.
The Craic and the Porter
2F Kusano Building, Oyafuko-dori.

 

 

 

 

19519

Identity: Barman,The Craic and the Porter
Hometown: New York, USA
Text: Hugh McCafferty
Photos: Nobu Tanaka
Barman, chef, English teacher, student of go, boxer, bouncer – Mike Charron certainly has a diverse CV. The proprietor of Oyafuko-dori’s The Craic and the Porter first came to Japan 25 years ago, where the easy pace of life suited him well.
The former Asian Studies major soon started to study go full time and, although the pressures of supporting himself eventually forced him to quit, he still keeps a board in his bar, should anybody want a game.
For a man who has dedicated many years of his life to pulling pints, it comes as a surprise that Mike actually enjoys cooking far more than pouring beer, as evidenced by the eclectic menu in his bar. He is also a keen jazz enthusiast and likes to get musicians in as often as possible.
In the true tradition of all good Irish publicans, Mike’s stories are best shared across the bar over a pint of Guinness. Fukuoka Now settled down with him recently for a quiet drink.

What is your Irish heritage?

My ancestors came over during the famine. My mom’s side is all Irish and on my dad’s side, there’s French somewhere along the way, hence my surname. On my first trip to Dublin 30 years ago, people were saying, “Oh, you’ve got such a beautiful Irish name” but I think they misheard me and thought it was Shannon (laughs).
You opened your first bar, Michael’s Pub, nine years ago in Tenjin 5-chome. What led you to move on from that?
I was so far off the beaten track at the time and in the spring time it rained every day. People wouldn’t come down to my place. Business just got so bad that I got another job.

 

19520

I worked at a place called Beers Bar. It was my dream bar. The guy there was a friend of mine at the time and said to me “I want you to take over my bar.” He wasn’t a great businessman – he hired staff that robbed him blind and he just couldn’t figure out how he was losing money. He said, “Give me the key money and everything’s yours.” So I gave him a third of the key money and he screwed me over. He went to the boss and said, “I’m out of here.” Then his boss wanted all of the key money. I found out the next week that when he said “everything is yours” he also meant the bills.
I had trouble buying beer from companies for years after, so that’s why I changed the name to The Craic and the Porter. It was a good thing I did because I wouldn’t have had connections with certain beer companies otherwise.
Two months after taking over that place, I moved to my current location. That was about four years ago.
It looks like it’s just yourself working here – how many hours do you put in a week?
I work seven days a week. If I do get out early, it’s because I’m so tired that I just need a break. I’m also trying not to drink so much because (slaps belly) I’m putting the weight on (laughs).
Speaking of bellies, what’s your favourite Irish drink and food?
Drink – I would say John Powers [whiskey] on the rocks. Irish food? Colcannon I would say is my favourite.
And which is the better Irish stout – Guinness or Murphy’s?
Guinness, of course, you’d drink nine times out of ten. Murphy’s is nice – I carry it on draft here sometimes. Guinness is the best there is, though, you can’t improve on it.
How has Fukuoka changed since you’ve got here?
The food is so much better now – everything is so much cheaper. People seem to forget quickly how much things have changed. When I got here, everything you wanted was cheaper overseas. Electronic products that were made in Japan were half the price to buy in America that they were here. Food was so expensive here. There was very little Western food. People are healthier after the market opened up – eating better food and getting more health-conscious.
What’s the buzz like in Fukuoka compared to what it was when you got here first?

 

19522

It’s so transient now – you don’t see a lot of the people you used to see. I guess when you get married and have kids your life changes but the foreigners used to go out every night of the week – you’d teach until nine or nine thirty and then you’d all go out together and that doesn’t happen like it used to. Now, when you go out, the foreigners are all from out of town and no one knows anybody here.
I feel like you come to Japan and you don’t feel like you get any older. You go home and see people your own age and it’s shocking. There’s a youthful kind of atmosphere here.
Was Fukuoka always such an international city?
I think if I lived anywhere else, I’d speak better Japanese (laughs).
What’s your best memory of working here?
The Irish under-21s rugby team was here two years and we had a great time. I’ve had a few great musicians in here too – Mike Price [jazz trumpeter] is a friend of mine and whenever he comes to Fukuoka, he stays in my house and we have a little jam here in the pub. I’ve had a few Irish musicians in as well.
Back in my first pub, this Irish mate of mine used to always get me drunk after work and I remember one morning riding home on my bicycle and a cute girl walked by and I turned my head and I hit a cast-iron handrail – it hit me right on the cheek. I used to be a boxer, but I was never hit as hard as this – I was hit almost senseless. The girl just smiled and kept going.
You were a boxer?
I was a boxer for five years. I fought a few pros, but it was mostly amateur. I mostly boxed in upstate New York. At Off Broadway, I worked as a bouncer a few times. Here in Japan, everything is so peaceful, though – it’s the easiest place to live.
I’ll be sure not to start any brawls at the bar, then. Have you got any interesting events coming up at The Craic and The Porter?

 

19524

Beers for Books are an organisation that sends books to children in third world countries. So, they get a bar to put on an event and I give a hundred yen from every pint I sell to them. I take a hit but it’s worth it. That will be held on March 27/28, which is a Monday and a Tuesday.

On April 5, I have my fourth year anniversary party, so come around for some ¥500 pints.
The Craic and the Porter
2F Kusano Building, Oyafuko-dori.

 

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