The man pioneering the development of seafood bars in Ireland has unveiled plans to create 120 jobs through a major expansion of his family-owned chain.
Quinlan’s Seafood owner Liam Quinlan announced the ambitious expansion plans, which will more than double the size of his family’s seafood bar business, at the opening in Cork City of their third outlet.
They have ploughed €300,000 into the development of the new restaurant on Princes St.
Mr Quinlan, who saw the success of the seafood bar concept work in Scotland, said the Irish consumer’s appetite has grown for fish and seafood in recent years, and felt it would work here.
Liam Quinlan with his daughter
The first seafood bar opened in Killarney, Co Kerry, in 2011, a second in Tralee in 2013, and the third in Cork.
“We feel the time is right now to grasp this and expand,” Mr Quinlan said. “We have our own fishing boats and processing operation so we feel we are very well placed to offer the freshest seafood from tide to table.
“We feel the Irish economy has recovered and we are investing in the high street. We look forward to bringing the freshest Atlantic catch to consumers nationwide.”
It is understood the award-winning company has identified several potential outlets in cities around the country and is working to fast-track the opening of at least five new seafood bars within the next 12 months.
Kerryfish and Quinlan’s Seafood was founded in Renard Point, Co Kerry, in 1963 by Liam’s father, Michael.
Michael oversaw the development and diversification of the two companies over the years.
Today, Quinlan’s Seafood, run by Liam and his brothers Ronan and Fintan, operates trawlers and a fish processing plant, employing some 74 people. They run fish shops in Cahirciveen, Killorglin, Tralee, and Killarney, in their native county, and the three seafood bars, with plans for expansion. The expanded chain will offer a ready market for fish caught by up to seven trawlers operating from ports from Donegal to West Cork.
Quinlan’s was named the Kerry Small Business of the Year in 2014/2015, and the Small Firms Association Business of the Year, 2015. It also produces award- winning smoked salmon.
Mr Quinlan will be in London this weekend to collect two Great Taste Golden Fork awards for his smoked salmon.
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