Things are looking up for Cork’s city publicans.
After one of the toughest years in living memory for the industry, some key players have spoken out today to welcome a € 1.3 million plan to create comfortable and attractive outdoor seating to enable year-round outdoor dining.
“I believe we are witnessing a melding of hospitality and retail offerings and Cork is perfectly placed to exit Covid and take advantage of these new possibilities,” said Benny McCabe, who owns 13 locals pubs, including El Fenix on Union Quay.
Union Quay is one of five new locations that will have festoon lighting and 16 parasols installed, similar to those on Princes Street, with each premises having a unique colour and windbreaker. The Quay will also benefit from improved pedestrian and wheelchair access as well as an improved resurfaced road surface.
“The future is bright for the city.” Mr McCabe added.
Margaret Kenneally, owner of the Oliver Plunkett Bar said the funding, allocated under Fáilte Ireland’s Weatherproofing & Dining Enhancement Scheme, will make a real difference in the colder months:
“The Oliver Plunkett Bar has come back very strongly as a business since we were allowed trade again, thanks, in part, to its ability to meet customers’ needs outdoors on Caroline Street.” Ms Kenneally said.
“These weatherproofing grants will allow us to continue to look after those customers who want to remain outdoors in the coming months,”
Conrad Howard, who owns Market Lane on Oliver Plunkett Street/Beasley Street, agrees: “The Fáilte Ireland funding will enable us to provide an all-weather covering for our diners and will be transformative for Beasley Street.” he said.
“We have worked closely with Cork City Council and our neighbours to realise the potential of Beasley Street and we are very excited and thankful for the support from Failte Ireland. We think that this is another leap towards making the city centre a vibrant safe destination for residents and visitors,” he added.