The biggest recent vote of confidence in the commercial future of Naas town centre has materialised with the reopening of the Ivy Inn.
It took place on October 25 following a protracted renovation project completed by Blessington plant hire operator John Healy, who bought the premises for a relatively modest price - not much more than the €500,000 asking price over a year ago.
Recently a number of pubs have closed down on South Main Street - which began to look more neglected and less prosperous than the other half of the main street.
The Five Lamps has closed, as has Murtagh’s and both the Forge Inn and the Sarah Flood’s were jettisoned to make way for shopping centre that is home to little more than cranes and birds.
Other businesses have also closed such as the former Manor Inn restaurant and pub.
For the first time in six years confidence is returning to the town, buoyed by the arrival of the Kerry Group’s research and innovation centre which will employ up to 900 people when it’s fully operational.
In April 2012, the Ivy Inn was put on the market on the instructions of a receiver, who had been appointed by the Bank of Scotland, which itself shut up shop in this country as the winds of recession began to rise.
Then owner Paul Cullen told the Leader that he could not continue in business because of a fall off in the food and drinks trade.
Although the premises was bought by Mr. Healy, he has leased it to Kilmeade native Philip Hickey, who will run the business with is wife Caroline. They have strong links with the area. Mr. Hickey also operates the Barge Inn, along the banks of the Grand Canal at Charlemont Street, Dublin. The Ivy, as it’s locally known, incorporates a restaurant and beer garden.