West Cork hospitality venues coming, going, gone

Tommy Barker reports on the sale of Schull's Grove House for c €1m, as Baltimore's Beacon Guesthouse comes for sale for €495k... and as a multi-million euro sale is in the wings 
West Cork hospitality venues coming, going, gone

A file photo of Katarina Runske and her son Nico with Junior at Grove House, Schull, Co Cork. Picture: Denis Scannell

ONE down, for close to €1m;  one to go for half that sum is freshly up for sale for post-Covid-19 trade; and one big multi-million euro sales result is imminent this month, in terms of West Cork hospitality venues’ performance on the property market as 2021 kicks off.

Just sold is Grove House, on the uber-exclusive Colla Road in West Cork’s Schull, a highly regarded Victorian-era guesthouse and acclaimed restaurant, run for the past 15 years by the engaging Swede, chef, musician, and patron of the arts Katarina Runske and which had been for sale with a €1m price guide.

The stunning view from Grove House, Schull, Co, Cork. Picture: Denis Scannell
The stunning view from Grove House, Schull, Co, Cork. Picture: Denis Scannell

It’s been sold by agent Colm Cleary of James Lyons O’Keeffe, who also sold a holiday home near Ballydehob and Schull last summer to actor Saoirse Ronan for c €800,000.

Steeped in history, and oft-visited by writers, artists, and musicians, Grove House had been on the market since 2016 with other agents before Mr Cleary privately linked it to Irish buyers, with West Cork roots.

It’s expected the buyers will use it themselves on retirement, but first, it may be sensitively upgraded and short-term let at the higher end of the hospitality rental market, mixing Schull and Colla Road's appeal with Grove House's cachet and charm.

Both Mr Cleary and Ms Runske have declined to identify the buyer or to confirm the price. Grove House has variously been a rectory, private home, a small hotel and more, and guests have included George Bernard Shaw, and Jack B Yeats.

Ms Runske has relocated to East Cork this month, where her son Max, a professional sailor, and daughter-in-law Susie have bought Ballymaloe Cottage, aiming to run it as a third generation in the hospitality business. (Katarina Runske’s mother Catherine Noren ran Dunworley Cottage restaurant near Courtmacsherry in the 1990s, and her chef son Nico is  renovating a Schull venue as a tapas bar.)

Beacon Shore guesthouse and restaurant Baltimore West Cork
Beacon Shore guesthouse and restaurant Baltimore West Cork

Meanwhile, as market confirmation of a multi-million euro high–profile guest venture in West Cork is expected this month, new to the market this January is Baltimore guesthouse and restaurant Beacon Guest House.

Set in the very heart of the scenic seaside village, it’s described as a commercial and residential opportunity, by estate agent Ray O’Neill of Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill. It has six en suite bedrooms, and a fully-fitted restaurant.

Mr O’Neill describes the corner, shop-fronted property as “ripe for a new direction in this iconic West Cork tourist location along the Wild Atlantic Way.”

Details: James Lyons O'Keeffe 021-28122, Sherry FitzGerald O'Neill 028-21404. 

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