100-year-old Cork pub transformed into co-working space for community during lockdown

100-year-old Cork pub transformed into co-working space for community during lockdown

The Buckley family, who also have a logistics company, took over The Crossroads in 2007 and ran the bar themselves for eight years before leasing it out.

The Crossroad Bistro and Bar in Buttevant has re-opened as a co-working space after over 100 years as a rural pub.

The Crossroads has been a pub since 1904 and prior to that, the Buttevant premises was a blacksmith’s forge.

The Buckley family, who also have a logistics company, took over The Crossroads in 2007 and ran the bar themselves for eight years before leasing it out.

In March, a couple were due to take over the premises to run it as a bistro and bar, but when Covid-19 hit, the Buckleys were faced with their own crossroads and a tough decision on what to do with the space.

“We were delighted and then Covid hit and they weren’t willing to take a chance on it so, that’s when we decided on the co-working office space,” said John Buckley.

“It’s just the way it is for rural pubs, it’s a disaster at the moment and then Covid is on top of it.” John Buckley and his son Kevin transformed the pub space, replacing beer taps with workstations as they adapted to the changing needs of rural communities and the impact of Covid-19 on pubs and restaurants.

“We put in five workstations and counter spaces that people can use on a casual basis and we’re hoping that maybe students working from home might use the place as well,” said John Buckley.

“We’re hoping we can satisfy needs for that kind of service and I’ve used it myself before in different parts of the country and it seemed to work.” 

The Buckleys second son, Shane is a former Rugby player for Munster and now plays with the Ealing Trailfinders in London.

The family has hosted plenty of sporting celebrations and gatherings at the pub over the “eight great years” they ran it and according to John Buckley, it will be missed but they hope this is a new chapter for The Crossroads.

“I will miss the pub and I do miss the social sort of thing with the local people and having a chat and be sociable but unfortunately, turnover fell - between the time we were running it ourselves to the present time - it fell by maybe a couple of hundred percent like, and costs have doubled at the same time.

“I want to keep the doors open and keep some sort of a business going there for the local community."

More information on the Buttevant co-working space can be found on https://www.buttevantcoworking.com/

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