The Wild Atlantic Pub in Adrigole on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork served its first pints in more than two years. Publican John Crowley, who along with family members is behind the venture, said it will take a lot of hard work. However, as the economic recovery takes hold, and with the noticeable increase in visitors to Beara thanks to the Wild Atlantic Way tourist route, he is confident it will be a success.
“Not every bar in rural Ireland is closing down. You get out of it what you put in. It will take a lot of hard work, and we’ll have to offer something different, but there is a lot of goodwill towards this place, and we’re confident it will be a success. There is great community spirit in rural areas,” he said.
The bar, which has passed through various hands over the years, closed just over two years ago as the recession bit. Mr Crowley said it was only when the pub closed that he felt local people realised what they had lost. He and his family members took over the bar two months ago and have completely revamped it.
“People need a place to meet and have a chat, to enjoy the social side. That’s what people are looking forward to, it’s what people are longing for, I think,” he said.
Finbarr Harrington, the chairman of Tourism West Cork, wished the Crowleys well and praised them for bucking the recent national trend of rural pub closures.
It was estimated last year that more than 2,000 pubs closed here in just 10 years with Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) warning the Government that falling incomes, emigration, home-drinking, excessive levies and taxation, as well as the impact of stricter drink driving laws, was decimating the pub trade.
Mr Crowley said he hopes to create up to three full-time jobs and many more part-time jobs. He is also planning to refurbish the pub’s kitchen in the first quarter of next year to gear up for what he hopes will be a busy summer season.