Although the miraculous 2005 Champions League final took place in Istanbul, as all Liverpool fans will tell you without batting an eye, for me it also happened in Becketts, for the simple fact that I was physically there — the old Becketts, that is, on Bajcsy-Zsilinszky boulevard. When it closed, I took it as a personal tragedy and then when it re-opened, I felt a pang of worry that the new place, on the heavily frequented Liszt Ferenc square, would’ve been unable to replicate the atmosphere of the old one.
My worries were soon laid to rest, for Becketts remained what it had always been: the quintessential Irish pub. There’s Guinness and Kilkenny on tap, a wide variety of whiskeys, Irish as well as Scotch and Bourbon, the occasional troubadour playing drinking songs in the corner, much merriment and excitable patrons, especially on game days. These games include, of course, football, but the Irish diaspora often converges around more outlandish affairs such as rugby, Gaelic football or hurling. I honestly thought hurling was silly until one afternoon when a passing rainstorm confined me to Becketts and I arose with a strong personal bond to the team from Kilkenny.
When in comes to food, the menu includes an excellent shepherd’s pie, but also lighter dishes such as salmon with salad & a variety of bar foods of which I warmly recommend the nachos plentifully bathed in melted cheese. Prices, as with all ‘foreign’ pubs, are a bit above average, but absolutely worth the investment.