Sunday 07 June 2020

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Cork Independent

Bia Sasta

Light at the end of the tunnel

Thursday, 7th May, 2020 11:53am

Cronin’s Pub in Crosshaven celebrated 50 years in business a while back. What a pity that Denis and his sister Joleen weren’t able to celebrate with all their local customers. 

The pub is now in its second generation and apart from some minor changes, it has remained as quirky as ever. The anniversary reminded me of the many times I popped in for a quick bite to eat (their French onion soup is to die for) and how much we enjoyed the choice of Irish craft beers.

It also brought home how much these small family pubs are suffering now and ahead. Although we have a date when pubs and restaurants could open again, the new guidelines limit the running of both dramatically and it remains to be seen who can actually afford to open in August.

I fear that we are going to lose some of these amazing independent pubs and restaurants.

On top of the new guidelines and the lack of international tourism, the hospitality industry is in for a bumpy road ahead.

I miss going for a Sunday drink with Mr T to Browne’s Bar around the corner from us. The bar is not fancy but for us it’s a cosy space where we catch up with neighbours and the latest local news. Barman Sean knows what we drink (only drawback – he is a Liverpool supporter) and there is no pretence of anything other than a country pub with a cold pint and a fire in winter.

We are hopeful that Sean will be able to keep the pub open to continue what his parents started so many years ago.

The other day, a tour guide asked for advice as he was worried that his business might not survive. We had an hour-long chat and I convinced him to keep going but to concentrate on the domestic market for this year.

We will all be restricted in our travel plans so I am hopeful that we all take the opportunity to re-discover Ireland with all its beauty. Tourism businesses will have to re-think their approach and embrace the Irish tourist. In the coming weeks, I will dip into my memory box of places I visited in Ireland and will create a list of places to go.

I have read the timeline released by the Government and have already planned ahead. My friend Carol is coming over on 8 June and I am already thinking of what to cook for the occasion. On 10 August you will find me in the Rising Sons where I will enjoy a cold pint of Changeling and an awesome pizza (Browne’s will be visited later in the week) and I will be inviting friends over (when it is safe to do so) for a Turkish Delight evening I had to cancel back in March.

There is a lot to look forward to and staying positive is hopefully easier now as we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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