Baku has every kind of bar, as long as it's English, Scottish or Irish. Finnegans, arguably Baku's most popular bar, falls firmly into the latter category. I don't think it's one of these pre-fab Irish bars in a box, though it might be and serves the same purpose. The gold standard for local watering holes, it's probably the first place you go when you come to town and the last place you hit before wheels up. Many an evening begins and/or ends in its yellow-walled womb of smoke and Guinness.
Its clientele is unique Bakuvian: balding, middle aged, middle management suck-ups, snaggle-toothed rig monkeys and the women who love them for money. Personally, I don't care for the place because of the smokey haze, that men outnumber women 10 to 1 and whores outnumber non-whores by 10 to 1. These characteristics hardly distinguish Finnegans from every other bar in town, however. If smoke and whores bother you that much, you might as well stay home and swing.
Besides the excellent hamburgers and wonderfully competent waitstaff, St. Patrick's Day is by far the best excuse to wade through the masses of corporate logo'ed polo shirts and bad tattoos for the best drink in town.
The place seemed oddly empty for any Friday, not to mention St. Paddy's day, but some (probably British, spit) company held a Ball with an open bar to celebrate the holiday which drew many barflies elsewhere. The last few years, we've sent sentries to stake out table space in the early afternoon and reinforcements by mid-afternoon to replace their fallen comrades. But this year, four foreign girls had no trouble sliding into a table at 8 pm. The thin crowd also made liquor delivery that much more efficient.
We came for the Car Bombs.
I doubt Finnegans invented the Car Bomb, but that's the first place I ever tried one and you always remember your first. It's quite a simple concoction -- a shot of Baileys Irish Cream dropped into a pint of Guinness, which is then slammed. No one believes this but it's true: it tastes like Dr. Pepper.
Car Bombs go down so smoothly and so quickly, that before you know it, those gold chains and wranglers on the guy sitting next to you start looking attractive.