Durkin’s to Re-Open under New Ownership
1 December 2020
In the face of a worldwide pandemic and economic downturn, new owners have decided to take the bold and brave step of re-opening Durkin’s doors this winter.
Durkin’s Bar, Restaurant & Guesthouse will reopen in December under the new management and with a refurbished bar, brand-new café and state-of-the-art meeting rooms.
Local businessman Noel Regan and his wife Joanne say they saw the opportunity to save what is a local institution. He said, “Durkin’s has been open on the Square here for almost 50 years. So for myself and Joanne, we just couldn’t stand by and let the place disappear, despite the challenges presented by Covid-19. We’re really looking forward to getting open now - Durkin’s is vital for our close-knit community here in Ballagh, and we’re hoping that new offerings like the café and meeting rooms will help to bring back some of the town’s vibrancy”.
Old Dog with some New Tricks
Durkin’s will be reopening under the stewardship of James Mitchell and Patrick Sharkey – who had formerly worked there as Bar Manager for 26 years and Head Chef for 16 years respectively.
Sharkey said: “It’s been a really difficult time for the country and particularly for small towns like Ballaghaderreen, so we’re absolutely thrilled to play our part in bringing Durkin’s back. Even though there will be a new brand, new faces and a new menu…we’re hoping to continue the tradition that Durkin’s is somewhere for everyone - young and old, for families, individuals and groups, for every occasion”.
Mitchell added; “The building has been completely renovated - inside and out - as well as adding new features like a newly refurbished bar, a café and a cocktail bar. So we believe that there’s something for everyone in the community! There’ll also be a new 50-space carpark.
He is philosophical about the challenge that Covid-19 poses, saying, “One positive from the pandemic is that we expect to see more people – particularly young people – living and working in the area who would in the past have had to move away for work. And you can also use the free WiFi to work from the café, as well as having a new state-of-the-art meeting rooms upstairs!”
Given the restrictions in place, the management team say that they are really looking forward to being able to provide a full quality service later in 2021, that will hopefully also see so many locals living abroad being able to return home. They added that they will be working strictly within public health guidelines over the coming months as we all wait for the world to get back to “normal”.
Whatever “normal” might be in Ballaghaderreen or around Ireland in the coming months, the new team say they are really looking forward to welcoming people back to Durkin’s - whether that’s for a great meal with the family, a company meeting, a night out with friends or just a few quiet pints. Restrictions permitting, they expect the bar, restaurant, guesthouse, and café to open in December – a timely boost for the town and the region ahead of Christmas.
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