The Shannon Airport Authority (SAA) has issued tender documentation seeking firms to operate the Sheridan Bar in the departure lounge at Shannon Airport.
The documentation also shows the bar generated sales of €2.14m last year.
The bar has a glorious past and has been frequented by celebrities down the years including Marlon Brando, Ranelagh-born Maureen O’Hara, Robert de Niro, Tom Hanks and Fred Astaire; along with US presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
The bar is named after Joe Sheridan, a former chef at Shannon Airport who invented the world famous Irish coffee in 1943.
It has opening hours publicans can only dream of because of its special status in the departures area and is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
The tender documentation shows that last year sales at the bar increased by 2% going from €2.1m to €2.148m. The busiest month at the bar in 2015 was July where sales totalled €269,000.
The tender also discloses that the airport is forecasting 1.8m international terminal passengers this year — rising to 2.08m in 2020.
According to the acting chief executive of Shannon Group, Mary Considine, the new operator of the Sheridan Bar will come hot on the heels of the recently-announced Zest Café that will open shortly in the newly refurbished transit lounge area.
“We are going out to tender for catering services, both airside and landside, and believe it offers great scope for a new operator to grow the existing business and create new jobs.
"We are spreading the net as wide as possible and inviting caterers, restaurants or bar/gastro pub owners, who feel they can deliver a new and exciting set of options for our passengers, to put their hand up,” Ms Considine said.
The new operator will be required to complete a make-over of the bar “to drive extra sales and customer satisfaction from 2017 onwards”.
The SAA is seeking a firm to operate the bar from August of this year to the end of June 2021 and the closing date for tenders is June 10.