AS the recession continues to hit business in Kilkenny city and county, the closure of public houses continues unabated. The Priory Bar in Kells village is the latest public house to close its doors. A planning application has been lodged to turn it into apartments.
It follows on from the recent closure of Carroll’s of Thomastown; the Rock Bar, Freshford Road, Kilkenny and the Black Cat, Blackmill Street, Kilkenny. Troysgate House on the junction of Vicar Street and Green Street in the city shut its doors a number of months ago and has not re-opened. Nixon’s on the Watergate, Parliament Street, Kilkenny has also closed down as has The Harvester, Danesfort. There is no sign of Amber Black’s (formerly Fennelly’s) across from the court house of opening up again while the former Court Arms, across the archway from Amber black’s has also closed for good.
Gerry Rafter, president of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) and owner of award winning, pub-restaurant Rafter Dempsey’s on Friary Street, Kilkenny said it was heartbreaking to see so many family businesses close down.
He said there was no point in blaming anyone for the closures because it would do nothing to help the situation. “The emphasis now should now be on attracting people back into public houses and giving customers a reason to come back,” he said.