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Bob Kriva, general manager of the new Oyster Tavern. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Bob Kriva, general manager of the new Oyster Tavern. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
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Trading Stories: The reincarnated Oyster Tavern

Tell us the history of The Oyster Tavern?

The Oyster and the building is full of history. The building was established in 1792.

A Widow named Stokes held the premises under lease from the publican named Edward Barrett and a brewer names Richard Fitzgerald. The property was described as a plot of land in Cenderberry’s lane, now known as Market Lane.

There have been many alterations and changes made to the original house. A fire broke out in 20th August 1969 on the upper floor and there was a great deal of damage done. It was restored within six weeks and back to working order.

We are delighted to be part of the history of the Oyster Tavern and hope to add many of memories.

How does the new incarnation of the bar compare to the old one?

It’s definitely more modern. Downstairs you have your “local pub” feel to the place.

You can find that dark corner to hide in and have a quiet drink or sit on the comfortable bar stools and be in the centre of the show. The downstairs bar would definitely be in comparison to the old pub.

Then you go upstairs and its almost like you have been transported to another country or time. The décor is so modern and the colours are so warm and welcoming. The furniture, comfortable and cosy that you don’t want to leave.

It's definitely the best of both worlds in our eyes.

Bob Kriva, (centre) general manager of the new Oyster Tavern with staff from left, Chris Curtin, head chef; Ivan Milicevic, chef; Deirdre Caldwell, restaurant manager; Jennifer Lipinski, waitress; Nicole McGill, reservations;Eoin Ryan, bar tender; and Trevor Hennessy, chef de partiPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Bob Kriva, (centre) general manager of the new Oyster Tavern with staff from left, Chris Curtin, head chef; Ivan Milicevic, chef; Deirdre Caldwell, restaurant manager; Jennifer Lipinski, waitress; Nicole McGill, reservations;Eoin Ryan, bar tender; and Trevor Hennessy, chef de parti
Picture: Eddie O'Hare
What's your own background?

I have always worked in this industry. It’s a deep passion of mine. I previously worked for Alan Clancy in House Dublin. I took a small break then returned with the exciting project of running the Oyster Tavern.

What does the bar have to offer to patrons?

It has many things to offer. We have a great team that will provide you with exceptional service, a friendly ear or a warm smile all with a great pint of stout. We have an exciting cocktail menu, fabulous wine menu and a lot of spirits and beers to choose from. If you can’t see your drink, we‘ll do our best to get it in for you. We want to create an overall experience, not just serve you drinks.

What is it like operating in the city centre, especially so close to The Capitol and the English Market?

Its great to be in the city centre. You are right in the middle of it all. Being part of the Capitol building is also such a nice thing. We are surrounded by so many offices, shops and people.

We are unbelievably lucky to be on the doorstep of the English Market. This is the heart of the city. A place full of fantastic people wanting to help you, wanting to help you create something that was lost. ‘There are so many wonderful vendors that we get to work so close with. Tim from The Chicken Inn, Pat from Kay O’Connell’s Fish, Hassett’s Breads, Tom Durcan and Tim O Sullivan Meats, just to name a few.

What sets the bar apart from others in the city?

As mentioned before, we are creating an experience, not just dishing out a drink or a meal. We take that bit of extra care, extra time with what we’re making. There’s a bit of love that goes into every cocktail and every meal. The attention to detail. The want to make someone’s experience here a little better, go that extra step for them. We have a fantastic team on board and they are a credit to the Oyster Tavern.

What kind of challenges is this industry facing at the moment?

I think with every year comes a little more pressure to be better, to create something that you haven’t seen anymore. The hours are becoming longer, the expectation is getting higher. With all of this, we are beginning to see that with the new generation, there’s not the same volume of bartenders, waiters, chefs we were once seeing a few years ago. It’s a great industry to be in, its fun and unexpected.

Tell us about your recent awards success?

Yes, the VFI Cork Pub of the Year. This was an absolute honour to win for all of us.

Since only being open six months, it was a great achievement. There was a lot of hard work put into the Oyster Tavern by everyone involved over the last six months. So it was really nice to see that recognised and to be in the top three with Cask, Oliver Plunkett, two great bars, it was definitely something to be proud of. It's great being part of a city with so many outstanding bars and feel welcomed.

What's in the future for the bar?

A lot of exciting things. Keep a close eye on our Social media, website and even pop in, have a chat with our staff and experience the Oyster Tavern for yourselves.