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The Grand reopens with some brand new features

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By Sean Moriarty

After 760 days of closure The Grand - a much-loved favourite haunt for locals and visitors - is finally back in business.

GRAND RE-OPENING: Brothers-in-law and publicans Patsy Sheehan and Dan Dowling have re-opened The Grand after 760 days of closure. Photo: Michelle Crean

Killarney’s top music venue reopened last night (Wednesday). The pub/nightclub closed on March 14 2020 – one of the first pubs to pull the plug a week before Coronavirus took hold of the world – and since last August owner Patsy Sheehan and his team have been busy refurbishing the popular late night venue.

Punters will instantly recognise the layout of the main bar but dozens of framed photos of Irish musicians now adorn the walls.

The positioning of these photos reflect what is happening in the bar. The walls of the front bar are decorated with pictures of some the region’s best loved trad-musicians and this is where the nightly Irish music sessions take place.

Further in guests will admire photos of Irish rockers like The Edge, Hozier and Sinéad O’Connor placed along walls in front of the main stage.

And music is always a central theme in The Grand. New for the 2022 season is a house band with a difference. Local musicians will be joined by better-known figures who happen to be in town for other reasons.

“One night we could have Mike Denver playing with the house band, the next night it could be Daniel O’Donnell’s lead guitarist,” The Grand’s entertainment manager Matt Griffin, a Kilburn-born Irish musician with South Kerry roots, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We are the only venue outside of Dublin to offer music seven nights a week.”

Upstairs the legendary piano bar remains untouched, downstairs there are further plans to upgrade the nightclub.

Here partygoers will see the biggest change. A new underground tunnel links each side of the dance floor where they will find a new cloakroom and four state-of-the-art toilets.

FRESH AIR INDOORS

The public restrooms now feature fresh air filtered through a brand new climate control technology, influenced by the pandemic in an effort to keep guests safe from potential viruses.

“We believe we are the first pub in Kerry to do this,” said owner Patsy Sheehan.

Another notable change is Patsy’s late father Paddy Sheehan’s name etched on the building’s shopfront.

The décor may have changed, but it is the same familiar faces who continue to run the show.
During The Grand’s soft re-opening on Wednesday night the first person guests met was doorman Shane Manning.

“It was anything but a soft opening,” added Patsy in reference to how busy it was. “Regular customers were hugging Shane, they were so delighted to see him back. We had an elderly woman in her 80s, and her daughter come down from County Clare – huge fans of traditional music and regulars here in the past.”

Long-serving staff member Cathriona Flynn from Faha is back behind the bar - her 27th year as an employee of the bar.

“The new bar is lovely, it is so up to date,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting old faces and making new friends. And that is the thing, The Grand is one big family. This is a new chapter in The Grand and the biggest change I have seen here.”

Manager Mags Walsh is also making a welcome return to the bar’s team.

“The Grand is an institution, everyone loves The Grand,” she said.

It was all hands on deck to get the bar open in time for the Easter weekend. Patsy’s brother-in-law Dan Dowling, the Lisselton man who owns the legendary London bar The Swan in Stockwell was there to offer his help and advice after years of running one of the busiest Irish clubs in the British capital.

Comic Bernard Casey has given The Grand the ‘Gossip and Nephew’ treatment with a special promotional video on social media.

There are also plans in place to renovate the upstairs bedrooms but that is on the long finger for now as Patsy and his team concentrate on getting the pub back up and running.

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American choir to perform in St Mary’s Cathedral

Music lovers are in for a rare treat on Monday night when a top US choir visits Killarney. The Colquitt Accapella choir under the direction of Mr. Jimmy L. Jarvis […]

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Music lovers are in for a rare treat on Monday night when a top US choir visits Killarney.

The Colquitt Accapella choir under the direction of Mr. Jimmy L. Jarvis Jr is from the city of Moultie in the state of Georgia in the United States of America.

The choir performs multiple times a year and also produces and performs a large musical every year, with the latest production being ‘The Addams Family’ which was a sold out success.

The Colquitt Choir will be performing at St Mary’s Cathedral thanks to support form the KDYS.

More information is available from the KDYS on 066 71 21674 or www.kdys.ie

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HeartBeat’s cook off – be early!

This month HeartBeat Killarney has come up with a new slant on safe cooking. A free copy of the cook book ‘101 Square Meals – Easy recipes for everyday life’ […]

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This month HeartBeat Killarney has come up with a new slant on safe cooking.

A free copy of the cook book ‘101 Square Meals – Easy recipes for everyday life’ will be available to all those who come early to the May meeting on Tuesday night.

This book from Safefood which is supported by the HSE & MABS will come to life on the night as chefs from The International Hotel Killarney have very kindly volunteered to cook some of the recipes in the book for a tasting session during the meeting.

Nutritionist Paula Duggan will be on hand to discuss the nutritional benefits of each recipe prepared for tasting. She can also advise on any tweaks required to meet individual tastes and needs.

There will be four main recipes available to taste during the course of the evening; Meat Loaf, Baked Stuffed Fish, Chicken Fingers and Spanish Tortillas. There is a fifth recipe for tasting on the night but all that Chairperson Billy O’Sullivan will say about it is “It will be available at the end of the night with a cup of tea and we hope it will send everyone home with a smile on their face.”

This is a night that the HeartBeat group has worked long and hard to make happen.

“It came together because of the amazing generosity of Tracy Coyne, Catriona White and the wonderful Kitchen Team at the International.” said Billy. In these times when the price of foods has risen dramatically it is still possible to eat healthily with the guidance from this book. There are lots of tips also on food storage, freezing food, kitchen hygiene and food allergens.

HeartBeat meetings are FREE and all are welcome to come along on Tuesday May 30th at 8pm at the Parish Centre beside The Church of the Resurrection Park Road V93 WN32.

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