THE Ivy Inn, which closed down last March, is set to reopen as a pub and restaurant – probably in early 2013.
The new owner of the hostelry, which opened for the first time in 1849 and has also operated as a hotel, is Blessington businessman John Healy.
Mr. Healy, who owns the Blessington Plant Hire business at Crosschapel, on the Tallaght side of the town, will run the enterprise with his sons Francis and Peter.
Mr. Healy told the Leader he spent “a little over €500,000”, buying the premises through auctioneers CBRE.
The property comprises a three storey over basement commercial premises on a site of approx. 0.2 hectare (half an acre) and is situated on the ground floor and basement with a (56 spaces) car park to the rear. There are two floors of accommodation overhead currently leased.
Mr. Healy also spent over €1m acquiring the former Gogarty shop premises across the street, which runs from South Main Street down to the Grand Canal harbour.
“We are going to redesign the pub and this will be done in a horseshoe shape with a very good restaurant at the back where the toilets once were and the toilets relocated to the where the kitchen was. It will continue to be known as The Ivy Inn,” Mr. Healy said.
He added that he was not certain whether all of the work would take place within the building or whether some of it would be extended to the car park area – a move likely to require additional planning permission.
He said that while the facade of the premises is likely to remain more or less as it is; the interior will be redesigned in a horseshoe shape.
Mr. Healy expects to spend a considerable sum of money on the building, perhaps up to €1m if the car park area is developed.
A native of Mount Seskin, Saggart, Mr. Healy has a knowledge of the trade having owned the Lakes pub in Blessington between 1975 and ‘83.
His plans for Gogarty’s are less clear and may depend on negotiations with the planning authority and the fate of the unopened Naas Shopping Centre.
- Paul O’Meara