The Shoemaker Bar – Back at Last

History in the Making: A post Lock-down pose at The Shoemaker Bar this afternoon as the clock ticked its way to 4pm and re-opening time. Barman Adrian O’Leary (left) with proprietors, Nuala and Steve Curtin and their daughters, Grace and Niamh at three minutes to opening time this afternoon. ©Photograph: John Reidy

A long time practitioner in the pub trade told me today that her nerves are shot from the checking and the preparations and the inspections and the anticipation and the hope that everything will be alright for all concerned when she eventually re-opens her door later this week after an unprecedented five months of lock-down.

At No. 31 Lower Main Street the captains, Nuala and Steve and crew: Adrian, Grace and Niamh were all masked and visored up as the preparations continued and the clock ticked its way towards re-opening time of 4pm this afternoon.

Semblance of the Normality

They were all looking forward to welcoming back their customers and friends and a semblance of the normality we all took so much for granted before being crashed into by the Covid-19 virus in mid March.

The mark of customer, Martin Nolan’s gifted hand can be seen throughout the re-sectioned bar and extended airy areas out the back.

The Shoemaker team extended a welcome to all its friends and customers by letting them know the intentions to open the doors on this Monday, August 24th.

Food – As Legally Required

“We will be serving food as legally required. Our staff members have all completed the relevant food safety courses and we will be abiding by all NPHET and HSE rules and regulations,” said the welcome back message.

“We have extended our bar area to accommodate extra seating, put up partitions and installed hand sanitisers throughout the bar,” said the bulletin and it continued to address the changes for all concerned.

“It will be a big change from the old days so please bear with us while we all get used to the ‘new normal.’

Five Months Closed

“Great to see some of ye already practicing social distancing. I met two Man United fans on the way up town the other day and they crossed the street to avoid me! Fair play to ye lads! – said Steve with a bit of badly needed levity in an atmosphere which has been laden with lonliness, nervousness and worry since the spring.

“We’ve been closed now for five months and have really missed the chat, the craic, and the company, so we would love for you to call in for a pint or two, a bite to eat and a whole lot of catching up.

Don’t Forget Your Face Mask

“So hopefully we will see you all soon and in the meantime stay safe and don’t forget your face mask,” -Steve, Nuala and all our family and staff.

The Shoemaker Bar is the first of the local so called ‘wet pubs’ to return to the trade locally and to introduce the element of food into its range of services to meet legal requirements.

Now that the ice has been broken and a pattern cut, will others be far behind ?

At the other end of town, The Half Barrel is also preparing to open this week. Watch this space or the front door of No.131 Upper Main Street on Wednesday morning.

Good luck to them all.