New ‘lease’ of life for south-west bar after management buyout

Molly's Bar
Pictured at Molly’s Bar in Irvinestown are owner Damian Hanna (right) and Peter O’Hara (left), Business Development Manager, county Fermanagh at Ulster Bank.

A long-term lessee of a south-west-based gastropub has completed a management buyout of the venue, with support from Ulster Bank.

Molly’s Bar, based in the village of Irvinestown, county Fermanagh, has been purchased by husband and wife duo Damian and Nicola Hanna with further investment earmarked for the renovation and development of a 60-seater dining space.

The couple explain how the time was right for them to purchase the bar after leasing it for the past 11 years.

“We’ve leased the business for over a decade. In that time, we’ve strategically positioned and marketed it for the area and invested in its facilities to bring additional employment opportunities to the local community. We believe the time is right for us to take ownership of the bar we’ve poured so much into,” Damian explained.

The purchase marks a new beginning for the business with future investment earmarked to further develop the pub’s dining experience.

Nicola says: “Dining accounts for around 60 per cent of our total turnover. In the past 18 months we’ve completed a full kitchen fit-out and over the coming months into 2019 we will be investing in the renovation of a new 60-seater dining area to the rear of the premises. This follows recent investment in our newly reopened beer garden.

“There are around half a dozen caravan parks within a 10-mile radius of the bar, driving significant footfall during the holiday season, but only a limited number of venues offering a quality, affordable dining experience. This is our primary focus for building upon the success of Molly’s Bar.

“We approached a number of different banks with plans for the business. Peter and Ulster Bank were incredibly supportive of our vision and carefully guided us through the process of buying the business and advising us about our future investment plans,” she added.

Peter O’Hara, Business Development Manager at Ulster Bank, says: “The length of Damian and Nicola’s tenure with Molly’s Bar is testament to its strong position within the hospitality sector in the area. They have been instrumental to the story of Molly’s Bar and the success it has enjoyed in recent years. We’re thrilled to support them as they take ownership of the premises and continue to build on its success with further investment.”

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