Sponsored: Successfully Adapting To Change At Kirby’s Brogue Inn

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Fiona Kirby outside Kirby’s Brogue Inn.

WHEN restaurants opened again back on June 29, the first place I went to was Kirby’s  Brogue Inn.

Okay, cards on the table. I own a business and they have been a loyal customer to TraleeToday.ie since I started in 2014, but that’s not why I walked back into the hostelry for a bite to eat (and a pint or two) in early July.

As a family, we’ve enjoyed significant birthdays, communions, confirmations and other celebrations at the Brogue, long before the advent of TraleeToday, so what follows isn’t an obsequious love letter, but rather one of recognition for a Tralee institution adapting to huge changes.

With the Brogue, you know you’ll get a great welcome from Fiona and Kevin. Then there’s the friendly staff, the excellent food — of which there is plenty — and the wonderful atmosphere that permeates the building since the late, great Bill Kirby founded the business in the late 70s.

But it’s more than that. There’s a feeling of comfort and familiarity…that you’re home (even if you’re not a Rockie!).

The good news is that since the reopening in June, business has been booming at the Rock Street institution, as Kevin Cotter informed us recently.

Noreen O’Mahony masked up at the counter in Kirby’s Brogue Inn.

“We’re extremely happy with how things have turned out when we were allowed to open again,” said Kevin, speaking from his mercifully air-conditioned office at the top of the building on a humid August afternoon.

“The locals have been fantastic in supporting us and we’ve been very strict in adhering to the health guidelines. Our customers are very comfortable coming into us and they are very conscious of what’s going on here in terms of safety,” he added.

“Our staff have been fully trained in the COVID guidelines and the whole building undergoes a deep clean twice a day to ensure a safe environment for staff and customers,” said Kevin.

The staff. It’s important to recognise them as they play such an important role in the success of the business, from Noreen’s informal, comforting  welcome at the carvery, to Brian’s laid-back, witty manner at the bar.

While trade is brisk at the moment, trying times might not be far away as the pandemic continues to affect the way we all live. When the tourists are gone and with Christmas parties unlikely this year, bars, hotels and restaurants in town will need the support of locals.

And with road works beginning in September on Rock Street and Russell Street, Kevin is keen to stress they are open for business as usual.

“We’re happy and grateful for our local trade and we hope they support us in the coming  months when the tourists are gone. We’re asking people to shop local as the money spent here and in other local businesses in town goes back into the local economy,” he said.

Breakfast is from 9am to noon and their award-winning carvery continues to be a big success. The evening ala carte menu starts at 4pm and booking is recommended as it’s very busy at the moment.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s never take anything for granted. We need to support local business over the coming months and the Brogue is a good place to start.



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