'Extreme circumstances' forces temporary closure at much-loved Cork city venue

Mr McCabe said only in “extreme circumstances” would he close his doors.
'Extreme circumstances' forces temporary closure at much-loved Cork city venue

Mr McCabe said only in “extreme circumstances” would he close his doors. Pic Denis Scannell

Cork institution, Crane Lane, is taking a mini-break from providing entertainment and refreshments due to staffing shortages caused by holidays along with some employees isolating or ill with Covid.

Speaking to The Echo, owner of the Cork Heritage Pubs, including Crane Lane, Mutton Lane, The Oval and Vicarstown Bar, Benny McCabe said he “loathed to close his doors” as he felt strongly about providing the service his establishments offer.

Mr McCabe said only in “extreme circumstances” would he close his doors, but also said his staff deserved a break and between people out sick and holidays, it was the right decision.

The businessman, who also owns DeCalf Cafe in Cornmarket Centre, said he closed the cafe and redeployed the staff to some of his other establishments to cope with the staffing needs and logistics of the ongoing Covid spike and January holidays for hospitality staff.

“It is double the work for people in hospitality at the moment, there are certs to check and then there is the table service. You need three people to do the work of one. The sector is stretched.” 

Crane Lane closed on Monday and is set to reopen on Thursday with new opening hours.

Crane Lane and Upstairs will open at the earlier time of 2pm, everyday, with the evening menu now available from 3-7pm in Arthur Mayne's. Pic Denis Scannell
Crane Lane and Upstairs will open at the earlier time of 2pm, everyday, with the evening menu now available from 3-7pm in Arthur Mayne's. Pic Denis Scannell

Crane Lane and Upstairs will open at the earlier time of 2pm, everyday, with the evening menu now available from 3-7pm in Arthur Mayne's.

Mr McCabe said he was determined to keep his doors open and said his staff wanted to stay working.

“Nobody wants to go back to this time last year. Anything but being stuck at home, the mental health issues that came out over the past year have been unbelievable.” 

Mr McCabe said his staff and his venues were providing an important service to the people of Cork and he would strive to maintain that.

In terms of business, the publican said things were steady.

“Mutton Lane has an early licence, we open at 8.30am and we have bums on every seat, every hour of the day. We have had no issues or incidents, it has been pure luck. People are self-regulating.”

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