Businesses gear up as 'Eat on the Street' initiative set to return in Cork

Businesses gear up as 'Eat on the Street' initiative set to return in Cork

Nash 19 owner Claire Nash has commenced a recruitment drive for a range of different positions as she plans on reopening, on a takeaway basis in mid-May, before fully reopening once the Government has given the green light. Picture: Denis Minihane

A CORK restaurateur is getting her ducks in a row preparing for “the brighter future for Cork” when restrictions are eased.

The immensely popular Eat on the Street initiative, which was piloted last year with businesses on Princes Street, is set to return again this year when it is safe to do so, something which Claire Nash of Nash 19 is greatly looking forward to.

“We’re going to have a street that’s now covered and that will be heated.

“The plans for that are well advanced and we hope that we’ll have a very solid contribution to make to the city once we have that all in place.”

Ms Nash has commenced a recruitment drive for a range of different positions as she plans on re-opening on a takeaway basis in mid-May before fully re-opening once the Government has given the green light.

“Nash wants to be ready – we have to ‘bí ullamh’ as they say.

“I’m hoping that as restrictions are eased and everyone is vaccinated that we’ll be returning to the joys ... of our business which are perished at the minute,” Ms Nash told The Echo.

Ms Nash said although this lockdown has been exceptionally tough for businesses, she is optimistic about trading in the future.

“You’re talking about months of closure by the time we re-open - it’s not like the last time (previous lockdowns). We’ll hold tough though and hopefully we won’t have to close again so that’s what I’m preparing for – the brighter future for Cork.

“We’re going to be super busy – there is no doubt. We were one of the busiest cities last year with staycations – everyone came to Cork and I think it’s testament to what the city has to offer. It’s a very liveable, walkable city – we’re making huge strides through council and through the new strategic plan for the city, public realm improvements and so on. It is going to be a new city in a couple of years.” 

Under Level 5 restrictions, restaurants, cafés and pubs that serve food can open for takeaway services, however, Nash 19 has remained closed since Christmas Eve as Ms Nash said she felt it was not viable to re-open in such a limited capacity during the winter months.

“The footfall just wasn’t there in January and February. The economic heartbeat of my trade just wasn’t there.” 

However, looking to the months ahead, she is optimistic.

“We’ve learnt a lot since last year. As I said to somebody, we’ve done all the pulling out and the dragging and the changing - changing counters and making more space – that’s all done.

“We’ve traded through a really tricky period of very strict guidelines.” 

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