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At the new menu launch for McGettigans Cookhouse & Bar at the Ambassador Hotel, were Aoife Lohse, sales & marketing manager and Gary Barnard, head chef.  Picture: Denis Minihane.
At the new menu launch for McGettigans Cookhouse & Bar at the Ambassador Hotel, were Aoife Lohse, sales & marketing manager and Gary Barnard, head chef.  Picture: Denis Minihane.
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Trading Stories: Cork's Ambassador celebrates a new look and feel

The Ambassador Hotel is celebrating a brand new menu at McGettigans Cookhouse & Bar Cork.

Sales and marketing manager Aoife Lohse tells us about the hotel's history and the chain that the McGettigan family have built up in recent years

How old is the Ambassador Hotel and what is its history?

Founded by Frances Fitzgerald Gregg - the daughter of Bishop John Gregg - the Ambassador Hotel was originally built as a military hospital in 1872. Then in 1882 the building at that time called St Luke’s Home was occupied as a nursing home and remained so for 113 years until the staff and residents moved out in 1994.

How did the McGettigan family get involved?

The Ambassador Hotel was acquired by Brian McGettigan a member of the McGettigan family in 2013 who have a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry, with 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star hotels in Dublin, Wicklow, Cork, Donegal, Limerick, Wexford and Dubai. It has now become the McGettigan Hotel Group a growing Irish brand.

What changes have happened since they took over?

The Ambassador Hotel, has undertaken a complete refurbishment from the ground floor to the fourth floor, from our public areas, to new guest rooms to the conference and banqueting suite. Since the take-over, it has become a part of the McGettigan Hotel Group and McGettigan Cookhouse & Bar chain. 

The McGettigan’s Terrace and McGettigans Cookhouse & Bar have also been new additions to the hotel. They are also a chain in themselves with international locations in Abu Dhabi Dubai, Singapore, New York and London.

What sets the hotel apart from other hotels in the city?

Unique, elegant boutique hotel which sets the standard for superior four-star Irish service.

Tell us about the cookhouse and bar? What is the concept and how was it formed?

Built on a track record McGettigan’s Cookhouse & Bar Cork creates and delivers great tasting food using fresh quality ingredients sourced from artisan local suppliers and served with professional standards of service and hospitality set in unique, contemporary and relaxing surroundings.

Tell us about the chefs and the staff:

Gary Barnard, the head chef, brings a wealth of experience to McGettigan's Cookhouse & Bar Cork which he gained through 20 years in the Irish catering business. He has held senior positions in the kitchens of national and multinational hotel chains.

What has the reaction been like so far?

Explosive, from leisure to corporate, all guests and clients are raving about the new look of the hotel and the new taste of the new menu.

Tell us about the new menu and how it was put together?

The McGettigan’s Cookhouse & Bar Cork new menu, has been compiled by Gary Barnard and brings a variety of modern dishes using the very best local produce available.

Where do you source the ingredients for the dishes, is it local?

Yes down to our meat which is locally sourced from Twomeys’ in Macroom.

What sets the restaurant apart from the others around the city?

The real Irish family feel, the staff really are our ambassadors for the Ambassador Hotel and McGettigans Cookhouse & Bar Cork and really do have the craic with our guests and make them feel so very welcome, whether having a relaxing beverage or a full blown meal the ambience suits all occasions.

What else is in the future for the hotel and restaurant?

Constant updates occurring, with the new menu and well established McGettigan’s Terrace, watch this space for more to come.