Cork city’s Clancy’s bar is set to rise again, in time for its 195th birthday, part of a c€3.5/€4m total investment by its new consortium of owners.
It’s being spearheaded by the highly experienced Paul Montgomery, as he starts a new phase of a successful career in the bar and entertainment industry in Cork and Dublin, backed now by private investors.
It follows Mr Montgomery’s very successful turnaround of Dwyer’s of Cork, previously Rachel’s (in conjunction with Rachel Allen) on Washington Street, next to Reardens, where turnover had doubled with an emphasis on a broad food offer, and live music, and involves the same select group of investors from a mix of professions.
Construction is now active on a c€1m fit-out and upgrade on the Clancy’s property, spanning some 12,000 sq ft dually accessed from Princes Street and Marlboro Street, between the South Mall and Oliver Plunkett Street, with a re-opening date expected by August and set to trade on up to three levels.
It’s to be run by Michael O’Sullivan, ‘Sully,’ who has partnered with Paul Montgomery in the new business, and with whom he had worked in the Reardens Group since Sully was aged 17.
Clancy’s, which had ceased trading, had a recent planning grant of permission for conversion to a 26-bed bespoke city centre hotel, and was expected to be redevelopment when offered at €2.25m by joint agents Kevin Barry of Barry Auctioneers and Cearbhall Behan of Behan Irwin Gosling.
The significant ‘vote of city centre confidence’ bar/entertainment venue investment follows the sale, prior to its scheduled auction before Christmas, for an unconfirmed €2.5m, and is likely to have been the strongest bar sale in Cork in a decade.
Clancy’s last sold back in 1998, for €3m when disposed of by the O’Sullivan family when Dan O’Sullivan started the Maryborough House Hotel.
Coincidentally, 1998 was also the year that Paul Montgomery started to develop Reardens on Washington Street, having previously owned the Western Star on the other side of the UCC campus, on Western Road, and later went on to head several other Cork bars and venues, such as Havana Browns, Chambers, Preachers, and Scotts, which is now the Oliver Plunkett.
Other developments with his wife Margaret included large scale student accommodation at Victoria Cross, and other site acquisitions.
Mr Montgomery’s business focus is the revamped Dywer’s, now employing 50 and reportedly doing double the turnover as it did when run as Rachel’s, and next Clancy’s, set to employ a similar number when up and running, and other ventures are being sought out, as he predicts “the future of the business will be low-alcohol, and no-alcohol”.
“Earlier this year I disposed of all of my interests in the Reardens Group,” Paul Montgomery confirms.
“I had an amazing 20 years there, building a really phenomenal business, supported by a fantastic team, but felt it was time to do something new.”
“We seem to have found the right formula, combining high quality, casual dining and entertainment in a really fun and friendly atmosphere,” he adds.
"In terms of ‘what next’, I am considering several new opportunities. In fact, the same group of investors who helped to create ‘Dwyer’s of Cork’ have recently acquired Clancy’s, and I am advising on the overall strategy for this new venue. “
There has been a bar operating from this 15/16 Princes Street/Marlboro Street premises since 1824 and overseeing the work and fit-out will be Kerry-based Donie Daly, a collector and seller of architectural salvage and historical artefacts.
Donie Daly’s previous Munster projects include the renowned ‘Reidy’s’ in Killarney, a former sweet shop now an extensive bar, snugs, restaurant and live music venue, and more recently, ‘Dwyer’s of Cork’.
Former General Manager at the Reardens Group, ‘Sully’/Michael O’Sullivan, who will lead the team at the new Clancy’s, says that it will operate over three floors “and will reflect the growing vibrancy of Cork city centre, opening from early morning through to late at night, offering the best of food, drinks and entertainment.”
Details: www.dwyersofcork.ie, Barry Auctioneers 021 4279677/Behan Irwin & Gosling 021 4270007