Well-known publican Benny McCabe to take over iconic Cork pub

City centre pub adds to McCabe's growing list of Cork venues
Well-known publican Benny McCabe to take over iconic Cork pub

Canty's Bar in the centre of Cork's Pembroke Street has operated since 1892. Picture: Denis Scannell

Cork publican Benny McCabe has added another venue to his growing string of city bars and cafes.

The keys to the iconic Canty's Bar located in the city centre on Pembroke St between Mr McCabe's existing Arthur Mayne's venue and the recently acquired former photographic studios will be handed over shortly to Mr McCabe and he continues to invigorate and expand Cork's nightlife.

In a Facebook post today, Ger and Diana Buttimer said they have taken the decision to call time on their 30 years operating the venue and said they were delighted to be handing the venue over to their "friend and neighbour".

"To be part of such a famous institution has been such an honour, to serve the people of Cork this long has been so gratifying."

"Most importantly Canty's will still stay Canty's, our staff are also very excited and thanks to this arrangement they all still have a place of employment," Ger and Diana said.

Proprietor of Canty's Bar, Ger Buttimer: 'To be part of such a famous institution has been such an honour.' File Picture: Niall Barry
Proprietor of Canty's Bar, Ger Buttimer: 'To be part of such a famous institution has been such an honour.' File Picture: Niall Barry

In recent days, Mr McCabe has lodged a planning application for the change of use of the former Brennan's Cookshoptarget="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> on Oliver Plunkett St into a gallery and wine bar. He also holds permission to convert the former Barry's Photographic premises into a cafe.

Publican Benny McCabe already operates a number of well-established venues across Cork. Pic: Larry Cummins
Publican Benny McCabe already operates a number of well-established venues across Cork. Pic: Larry Cummins

He has spent the past year renovating the historic Pav venue which is set to reopen next month and has plans to commence renovation work on the former Usit office on Oliver Plunkett St into another licensed venue.

These new developments, in addition to his well-established network of bars including the Mutton Lane, Bodega, The Oval and The Black Dog would bring to more than 15, the number of venues he operates in Cork.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr McCabe said he was delighted to take over the operation of a respected venue like Canty's.

"It is a profound honour for me to be the custodian of Canty's. It is an authentic old Cork pub that has operated for more than a hundred years. Many people try and mimic such venues but you can't. That's why it will be business as usual with no major changes," he said.

Mr McCabe said the further expansion of his network of venues is in direct response to the resurgence of Cork's nightlife in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

"Cork is booming. The moves such as pedestrianising certain streets during the lockdowns are paying dividends which is why we are investing. We have spent the last year upgrading The Pav, renovating the beautiful ceiling and plan to open it next month."

"Certain sectors were heralding the end of the Irish pub but I think what we are seeing now is proof that something great is happening in places like Cork."

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