Cork's Larry Tompkins bar sold to consortium headed by hospitality entrepreneur

Cork's Larry Tompkins bar sold to consortium headed by hospitality entrepreneur

Larry Tompkins Bar on Lavitt's Quay Cork.

LARRY Tompkins Sporting Bar has been purchased by a consortium headed by hospitality entrepreneur Sean Crescenzi of the Dunne and Crescenzi mini-chain of restaurants.

The licensed premises had been placed on the market last June, with an asking price of €700,000, and the All-Ireland-winning footballer and former Cork coach and manager had only last week announced his intention to retire.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Crescenzi said he and his team look forward to bringing their own twist to the much-loved Lavitt’s Quay local.  “We aim to keep the tradition of what has made Larry Tompkins pub a success in place, aiming for a cosy bar with great beer selection, and introducing a much stronger focus on food.”  

He said that while retaining that “local” feeling downstairs, his group plans to bring in a much broader change to the upstairs portion of the venue.

“We aim to establish a space for unique events to take place featuring local musicians and DJs. We’ll also be introducing a new cocktail menu - fusing tradition and innovation.”  

Mr Crescenzi said the business will continue to trade as normal throughout December, and will close for minor refurbishments before “the grand reopening”, complete with a new name in early 2021.  

Larry Tompkins had announced last week that he was retiring after 30 years at the helm of his busy city-centre pub.

Larry Tompkins, Cork captain lifts the Sam Maguire Cup, Cork v Meath, All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park. Picture:Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE
Larry Tompkins, Cork captain lifts the Sam Maguire Cup, Cork v Meath, All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park. Picture:Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

In what he described as “an emotional post” on Facebook, the All-Ireland-winning footballer, former Cork coach and manager, and three-time GAA All-Star said “I have finally decided to retire.” 

Mr Tompkins said the decision had not been an easy one, but it was the right thing to do for his family. He thanked his staff, customers and friends who, he said, had supported them over the past 30 years.

Saying he was excited for the future and “eternally grateful for all the friendships made”, he signed the post: “Looking forward to meeting you on the other side of a counter soon. – Larry.” 

Today he told

The Echo

: “I’m getting on now to nearly 60, and it’s about time I copped on to myself, because pubs are a young person’s game.

“I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family, and you don’t have that opportunity when you’re going seven days and seven nights a week,” he said.

 Cork GAA star Larry Tompkins at the launch of his autobiography, BELIEVE at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Cork GAA star Larry Tompkins at the launch of his autobiography, BELIEVE at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

John McHale, Sports Editor of The Echo, said Larry Tompkins is an iconic figure in Cork GAA circles, coming from Kildare at a time when Cork was struggling.

“Larry and Shay Fahy formed a unique partnership and were a big part of Billy Morgan’s great Cork teams of the 1990s. He was a magnificent player, scorer-in-chief, led the team, and gave back to Cork then by being Cork coach and manager for many, many years after, and was a fantastic club player with Castlehaven in West Cork.” 

Noting that Mr Tompkins had had two bars in the city, first Handlebars on the Lower Glanmire Road, and for the past three decades Larry Tompkins’ Sporting Pub on Lavitt’s Quay, Mr McHale said Mr Tompkins had always been very good to Cork teams, and was a great supporter of the Cork ladies’ football and camogie teams.

“Everybody in Cork will wish Larry well. It was a fantastic sporting bar, and Larry was just a fantastic owner. He’s a very good man, and he’ll be missed behind the bar,” he said.

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