Destin’s welcome wagon? Double-decker bus brings Irish flare to Emerald Coast (PHOTOS)

Jacob Fuller
This double-decker bus helps authenticate the ties between McGuire's Irish Pub and life in Dublin. The bus looks packed from the road, but a closer inspection reveals that the mannequins

Double-decker busses are an integral part of life in Dublin. So it's only natural that any Irish pub has a few for special occasions.

McGuire's Irish Pub has three double-decker buses, including one that is among the first things drivers see as they enter Destin from Okaloosa Island. A close look reveals most of the seats are filled with manikins dressed for the season.

"Christmas is right around the corner. You'll see them in their Christmas gear. After Christmas, you'll see them in their St. Patrick's gear," general manager Patrick Grantello III told The Log. "We don't really change them for Halloween."

In Pensacola, one of the buses has moving manikins, but the city of Destin won't let McGuire's keep them moving with the bus near the road.

"They say it's a distraction for cars driving by," Grantello said.

In Destin, the manikins have been victims of vandalism on a couple of occasions, Grantello said, but they are currently in tact and the bus is locked up to keep mischief makers out.

The bus idea first came from owner and founder McGuire Martin, who opened the Pensacola location in 1977 and the Destin restaurant and pub in 1996, as a way to authenticate the ties of the Emerald Coast to the Emerald Isle.

All of the buses are operational, Grantello said, but the Destin bus usually stays put. Another bus, stationed at the McGuire's location in Pensacola, is used during parades and to give patrons a unique ride during special occasions in both Destin and Pensacola.

"The other bus will be here for our Halloween run, so you'll see it in full motion with people on it," Grantello said.

McGuire's is located at 33 E. Highway 98, across the street from the Emerald Grande. Find them online at