FIRESIDE pints, coffees and good conversation are back on the menu in Tubber as The Burren Inn opened its doors for the first time on Friday last to great fanfare.
The North Clare establishment has undergone an extensive refurbishment and will serve as a focal point for the community, offering a venue for weekend socialising, community events and special occasions.
Visitor accommodation is also being developed which will support tourism in the area, an ideal place for anyone to base themselves while exploring the Burren with the premises facing the iconic Mullaghmore.
New owner Martin Baker tells The Clare Echo that preparations for the grand opening last Friday began in January with extensive work being carried out to modernise the historic public house, which has been in existence for a century but closed its doors in 2016 under the name O’Grady’s. Martin recently purchased the property and enters the new venture alongside his daughter Niamh.
Martin has lived in Tubber for almost 25 years and gained vast experience as a publican having run a pub in London. When he returned from England, the Mullagh native purchased a farm in Tubber where he has remained. With new owners on board, it’s hoped The Burren Inn will safeguard the future of the village’s last pub for many years to come.
Having started renovations on January 3, Martin, Niamh with the help of friends and family worked six days a week to prepare for opening. The building is listed and Martin regularly liaised with the Heritage Council throug the process, who contributed a grant for roof repairs. The Burren Inn is now a member of the Burren Ecotourism Network and Martin believes its excellent location will be key to the business’s success.
Martin acknowledges the opening night was “absolutely fabulous” thanks to the support of the local people. Former Clare hurling captain Patrick O’Connor was MC, former County Councillor Michael Kelly cut the tape with Fr Tommy Marrinan blessing the premises. He stresses that the absence of a public house in Tubber has been acutely felt by in recent years, with Tubber’s only other pub being sold at auction recently for residential use.
“There’s been brilliant support. The community are really up for it and the community needs it,” says Martin. “They’ve been without a pub in recent times. The other pub in Tubber was closed during Covid so the community are very happy that The Burren Inn has opened. People were concerned they would have no place to socialise and meet up. Someone said to me at the weekend, with Covid everyone was going in different directions and this has brought the community back together.” The Bakers are delighted to provide employment to young people in the area.
The Burren Inn is complimented by a newly-developed sports room equipped with a pool table, televised sport, along with a modernised beer garden. There are also disability facilities on site.
Martin and Niamh hope the community will embrace The Burren Inn as a venue for community occasions, noting the success of the Tubber GAA Club and the famous racing fraternity in the locality among which Martin counts himself part of having bred and owned race horses, his most recent winner being Dixie Flyer (14/1) at Down Royal last December.
Martin’s daughter Niamh moved home from Dublin during Covid and couldn’t miss the opportunity to join the venture as partner, having previously worked in digital advertising with The Journal news website. Niamh currently works in tech sales but since relocating to Tubber, has volunteered with Tubber GAA for whom she is building a website. She says the move home has highlighted the importance of community, stressing that The Burren Inn has an important role to play in this.
Martin notes that the publican industry has changed in recent years and The Burren Inn will be open early each day for coffees and snacks, opening its doors to locals, tourists, walkers and cyclists.
Find The Burren Inn on Facebook or email email@example.com for enquiries.