Why All Irish Pubs Look Alike : Planet Money Here's what Kazakhstan, Hong Kong and Ireland have in common: They all have Irish pubs. And a bunch of them are the product of one man: Mel McNally.

VIDEO: Why Do Irish Pubs Work So Well? There's A Formula To It

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What exactly makes an Irish pub an Irish pub?

In the 1970s, Irish architecture student Mel McNally spent his final year in school studying the design of Irish pubs (partly as an excuse to drink with his buddies). They hit up all the famous pubs in Dublin and brought along their sketchbooks and a measuring tape to answer one question: What makes these places work?

Their findings resulted in an international business, and now McNally ships Irish pubs to every corner of the globe in 40-foot-long containers. And inside those containers are the elements that he has found will make an Irish pub authentic.

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