In an era when far more public houses are closing than opening, the hard-pressed licensed trade has been given a confidence boost with the return to business of a landmark hostelry in Tralee.
Locked up since April of last year, Kirby’s Brogue Inn yesterday reopened under new ownership.
But, the premises at the bottom of Rock St continues to have strong links with the Kirby family, with co-owners Fiona Kirby and her husband, Kevin Cotter, investing heavily in its purchase and redesign.
Ms Kirby is a daughter of the late Bill Kirby, a popular personality who had built a strong reputation for the Brogue as an eating and drinking establishment and entertainment venue.
Thirty-five people will be employed at the pub which has undergone a major renovation, both inside and outside.
Ms Kirby said: “This has been a massive undertaking and while there were many obstacles along the way, we are proud to be in a position to open the doors of the Brogue to the public once again. The past 14 months have been very difficult for me and my family, but today is a milestone for everyone.” Since 2005, more than 1,500 pubs have closed around the country and turnover has dropped by a third, according to the Vintner’s Federation
However, Ms Kirby said she and her husband were looking forward positively and aimed to develop a product and service that would be second to none in the hospitality sector.
Mr Cotter said they had been overwhelmed by the goodwill of the general public.
“The fears that are associated with making such a big investment have been eased by the words of encouragement from our family, friends and the people of Tralee and surrounding areas,” he added.
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