Town challenges recession with €20 night out

IT’S a dodgy date dreaded by the superstitious. But an enterprising West Cork town is planning to make its own good luck next “Friday the 13th” — and boost local business in the process.

Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce has developed an initiative that offers lucky consumers a recession-busting €20 all-in night-out in Clon package on Friday week that will see them fed, watered and driven home.

The €20 ticket will allow consumers to enjoy:

* A main course featuring the finest of local West Cork produce in some of the town’s top restaurants.

* A drink in some of the town’s nationally recognised pubs.

* And a taxi ride home within five kilometres.

Each ticket will have three vouchers — one for the restaurant, one for the pub and one for the taxi company.

Customers will pay up front and simply present the relevant voucher at each participating venue.

The “Local Time” initiative was tested by about 50 chamber members in March and the feedback was hugely positive. Now it is being rolled out across the entire town.

However, there are plans to extend the initiative later in the year, and to introduce tiered pricing, to include deals on overnight accommodation and outdoor activities to encourage visitors from further afield to come and stay in the town.

The concept was developed by Mark Buckley of Buckley’s Fine Art.

“We all need to support each other to get through these difficult times,” Mr Buckley said.

“This initiative is designed so that the local community as well as tourists visiting can enjoy restaurants and bars in their local area without breaking the bank.

“They will be able to enjoy what is on their own doorstep at a fraction of the normal price and travel home safely afterwards.

“We’re delighted that so many restaurants and bars have come together in order to support this new idea.

“We hope that it is the beginning of many such nights that can encourage greater positivity in the area,” he added.

The all-in tickets can be bought at Kirby’s Shoe Shop on the main street in Clonakilty (023-8833136) and from Buckley’s Fine Art Gallery (023-8821929).

Clonakilty was the country’s first Fair Trade Town, and was designated Ireland’s first European Destination of Excellence.

* Full details on the Local Time initiative, and on the participating venues, are available on www.clonakilty.ie.

Keep it local

Participating restaurants:

* Richy’s Bar & Bistro

* Costelloe’s Malthouse

* Mios

* An Sugán

* The Emmet Hotel

* The Imperial Hotel

* O’Donovan’s Hotel

* The Fastnet Catch

Participating pubs

* The Wrastler

* Scannells

* Shanleys

* De Barras

* Bernies

* The Phoenix

* The Brewery Bar

* The Courtyard Bar

* The Winery

Participating taxi firms

* Celtic Cabs (087-1230123)

* Darcy’s (087-2341096)


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