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Barred in Oregon

I think I had more fun being barred than I would have had going there

I was barred for at least 4½ years from Kyteler's Inn, a popular bar and restaurant in Kilkenny Ireland.

I'd worked there briefly in October '02, and had had a dispute with the owner and manager when I'd left — or, more accurately, when I had been taken off the schedule in classic restaurant style, and had gone away angry.

Kytelers is a big place that got extremely busy on weekends during the heyday of the Irish economy. It was never one of my favourite places to have a pint. It was a busy, loud environment where people went with their shirts tucked in and their wobbly heels, and got too fucked-up to talk, even if they could have heard each other over the crappy repetitious music.

The building itself is extraordinary — especially the lower level, the only true Norman part of the structure. Corbelled vaults just above one's head; cobbled together with that inimitable hodge-podge construction of non-uniform stone.

It was also the home of the rich and powerful Alice Kyteler, convicted of witchcraft in 1324. The Kyteler house was an important part of medieval Kilkenny, and is a key tourist attraction.

Anyhow, the restaurant had hired me to do washup in October 2002, but apparently had only intended to keep me for two weeks.

With no hours on my schedule (or "rota,") I went to the manager. He told me that they were not running a charity. So I wrote a letter to the owner telling her how I felt about the way that they had treated me, and when I gave it to her I told her that I had posted it on the internet.

That sounds really dumb, I know — but, in small-town Ireland 2002 it must have sounded plausibly threatening. In any case, the owner was incensed. A co-worker was worried enough about me going back to get the last of my pay that she tried to contact me and stop me. I got it, though — including the part that they had tried (of course) to stiff me.

And then it turned out that, since I had also written a page about Alice Kyteler that got links from some other websites, my story about them googled better than their home page. I never kept track of it but I looked a couple of times and my stuff outranked theirs for a few years.

So I was unwelcome at Kyteler's. Twice I had to leave unserved, in 2005 and in 2007. I think the manager finally just got tired of bothering me, because from sometime around 2009 I was able to drink there without hassle.

But, as I said, Kyteler's was not my favorite establishment anyhow. I'm pretty sure I had more fun being barred than I ever would have had drinking there.