Hootananny!

I’ve had a few requests lately to explain just what exactly Hootananny is  so I figured I take some time to dedicate a whole post to my “assignment”.

Check out the hyperlinks as they will help you to understand some parts of this post better.

Question 1: Wait a minute… Hootananny is a real place? ~Haley

Yes, Hootananny is a real place. It is a pub in Inverness, Scotland that has live Scottish music every night. There is also a Hootananny in London but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not the same (even though I haven’t been there). Hootananny also serves supposedly excellent Thai food. I haven’t yet been able to verify this, but I have seen the food pass in front of my eyes and it looks quite delicious.

Question 2: How did Hootananny get its name? ~Ellen

To be honest, I haven’t had the chance to actually ask any of the staff this question because the pub has been packed all three times I’ve been there, but after much googling and wikipedia-ing I have come to my own conclusion that Hootananny got its name because it is a term that has long been used to label a folk music party. And believe me, it’s quite the party at this pub. On the weekends, at least, it’s standing room only and there is usually some ceilidh (sounds like kay-lee) dancing and rockin’ bagpipers.

Question 3: What is the primary past time of Hootananny residents? (Haha, so Ellen asked this before she caught on that Hootananny was a pub and not a town. Same goes for the next question.)

Well, I’m not sure I would call them residents, but there are certainly some regulars. Hootananny has a great combination of beer and whisky–no “e”— drinkers, and wide age range and gender balance. However, it appears that there seems to be some novelty in chatting up individuals at the opposite end of the age spectrum. Old men, meet the twenty-something ladies. Old ladies, meet the barely-escaping-from-puberty boys. Everyone seems to have a great sense of humor, though, so it all comes out in the wash when the residents of the upper end of the spectrum head home to get some kip and the rest of us at the lower end head upstairs to dance.

Question 4: What is Hootananny’s role in Scottish politics? ~Ellen

Um, can I pass? … Nah. Well, here’s my chance to delve into the interesting concept of Inverness’ city curfew. Let me start by clarifying that it doesn’t mean you have to go home. It means you have to stay where you are when the clock strikes midnight. Well, sort of. As in the rest of Scotland, bar closing times are determined by the type of establishment–pub, bar, club, casino, etc. However, in Inverness, you are not allowed to enter a bar after midnight. So, you have to decide where you want to be for the night before Cinderella loses her shoe. Here’s why I like Hootananny: The downstairs closes at 1 am, but the upstairs stays open for another couple hours, so it’s a mass migration to the upstairs bar and dance floor at about 12:45 am. It’s like a change of venue, but without the stumble down the street.

Check out my new friend, Callum, on the pipes at Hootananny on Saturday!

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