My Weekend: These Sundays my guilty pleasure is DWTS

It’s a case of work and play for ORSO’s Dee Munnelly on her weekends
My Weekend: These Sundays my guilty pleasure is DWTS
Dee Munnelly owner/ manager of Orso

Dee Munnelly tells us how she ended up as the owner/manager of ORSO — the jewel in the crown of the Market Lane group of restaurants. She also chats about working weekends, escaping to Donegal and hogging the TV on Sunday nights for Dancing With The Stars!

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I moved to Cork following the birth of my first son, 18 years ago. It was a big move from The Big Smoke to The ‘Real’ Capital!

I started working in Luigi Malones as a floor manager and stayed there for five years.

I moved on from there and managed a fabulous little pizza place called Pizza Republic on South Main Street. It’s no longer there — looking back, it was a little ahead of its time, I feel.

After leaving there I had two more babies, now 11 and 12 years old.

After my last baby was born, I needed to return to work, for financial reasons, but more importantly, for my sanity!

It was June 2008 and I called upon a good friend, Judy Howard, to give me three nights’ work in the fine establishment of Market Lane on Oliver Plunkett Street. I loved it here.

I was back doing what I loved, what I enjoyed, and something I was pretty OK at!

I went in, not as manager, but as a waitress and relished the buzz again, without the responsibility I had previously had in my other jobs.

It was great for me as my true responsibility at that moment in time were my three children, but I began to feel alive again, having the best of both worlds.

I stayed there and moved up the ladder, starting by covering supervisor shifts, then doing some holiday cover for the full-time managers at the time.

It felt natural to me being back in this role, and I continued to work hard and balance my life of minding children, late-night feeds and early morning starts!

Following this, in 2012 my youngest son was starting school. I think it was looming for me in a different way to others, however. I wasn’t apprehensive about him beginning school — deep down, I knew the time had come for me to do something for myself.

It was coincidentally at this time that my fabulous business partners, current owners of Market Lane, approached me and asked me if I would be interested in embarking on a new project with them.

I needed no thought on this one. I accepted delightfully and the ORSO journey began.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Friday night usually means one of two things — working or chilling at home!

In this job we don’t get that ‘Friday Feeling’ that so many people get, because Friday usually means the day before Saturday, and I work most Saturdays!

Dee Munnelly, owner/ manager of Orso
Dee Munnelly, owner/ manager of Orso

Lie-ins or up with the lark... which is it for you?

If I could choose it would be lie-in... which is never really later than 10am, but the way it falls it’s usually up with the lark — 7.30am alarm most days.

However, I don’t moan about this as my husband is usually up and gone way before me.

According to him, I have a lie-in every morning!!

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Always. No creeping, just full-on there! I work most weekends.

If money was no object, where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

If money was no object, I’d escape to the mountains in Austria and I’d definitely have to bring my hubby along.

We’d spend the time skiing and eating, with an odd tipple.

If I had to choose a city, it would be Malaga for the fab food market, or London for the variety of places to eat and drink.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

When it’s time to recharge the batteries — it is straight to Donegal for me. My mum grew up there so it is our go-to spot when we need to escape.

Fab beaches, very little phone signal/wi-fi depending on where you are, cooking outdoors and very good company (usually my mam and my gaggle of sisters!).

Pure escapism and switching off — I love it!

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Weekends are mainly working, but I am lucky to have Sunday as my chill day.

Family all the way.

Do you get to indulge in any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Rugby takes over my house, I have two sons that play. My hubby an ex-player.

I love sport in general and have a secret love for horse racing (well, not that secret actually!).

I love going to the races any chance that allows, but it usually ends up being only once or twice a year. It will be my thing when I hang up the work boots.

I also played basketball in my youth when my knees worked! My daughter plays now, so I will always have a soft spot for it.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

If I’m entertaining it’s usually a nice homemade pizza, made from scratch.

If I’m being entertained, I love anything that’s put in front of me.

It’s always a joy to have other people feed me, as I feed people every day at work!

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go-to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Without being biased it has to be Elbow Lane for dinner — savage steak!

For a special meal — I love Man Friday’s in Kinsale. For a sneaky glass of wine — Bunnyconnellan’s in Myrtleville.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Sunday nights are usually tucked up in front of the TV with some Netflix and a glass of red.

However, these Sundays my guilty pleasure is Dancing With The Stars.

Myself and my daughter usually get the TV all to ourselves, as the boys flee from watching it!

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

7.30 am............ always.

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