A SERENDIPITOUS moment led to a Cork-based couple securing their dream venue for their new wine venture on MacCurtain Street, set to open later this month.
Husband and wife, Trudy Ahern and Seán Gargano are the duo behind MacCurtain Wine Cellar, located adjacent to the Metropole Hotel and described as “an indie wine shop and bar”.
“MacCurtain Street is one of those streets I’ve just always loved,” Trudy told The Echo.
“We were so lucky - we were walking down the street and we ended up meeting the landlord and we chatted to him and then the people they had lined up to take the building fell through and he called us. It was just so lucky!”
The couple, who met working in the restaurant scene in Dublin, have extensive experience in the industry, with Trudy most recently managing Etto on Merrion Row and Seán, a sommelier, doing wine lists for restaurants such as The Legal Eagle and Winding Stair.
Whilst they may have had a stroke of unexpected luck in finding their ideal location to set up their new wine venture, the couple had been considering making the move Leeside for quite some time.
“I’m from Cork originally and Seán is from Chicago.
“We kind of wanted to move down to Cork for years really but we had jobs in Dublin, so we stayed but kept toying with the idea of coming down,” Trudy explained.
“I think with the last couple of years with everything changing so much with restaurants we just kind of wanted to open something where we could really do what we love.
“We love wine, we love working in restaurants and the idea for the shop just came about because there’s lots of places throughout Europe where you can go in and there’s really great selections of wine and you can sit down and have a glass.
“We just thought it would really work.”
Now living down by Kinsale, the couple, who have two children, are delighted to have made the move.
“I think to be honest just with the last couple of years we realised how far away we actually were from family. When all of a sudden we couldn’t travel and we were locked down in Dublin, we kind of just decided you know what, now is the time [to move to Cork].
“We’re really happy to be down and the kids are absolutely loving it!”
MacCurtain Wine Cellar, Trudy says, will be a wine shop with space for some in-store sipping too.
“It’ll be a wine shop that you can sit down and have a drink in, basically.
“There’ll be a really large selection of wine available to buy but we want people to be able to come in and they can talk wine, they can taste wine, they can buy bottles to take home and then they can also sit down and have a glass.
“There is a little area where there’s seats and counters were people can sit in and we’ll change what’s available by the glass a lot.
“We’ll really focus on organic wine, biodynamic wine and classics as well,” she said.
“It’s going to be a really welcoming space. It’s going to be really relaxed. We want to bring people into the shop and make wine fun.
“We’ll be there to show people that you can just really enjoy it. Sean is a sommelier, but he really does believe in making information about wine really accessible and fun, so there’ll be no stuffiness!”
It has been a labour of love for the couple working to refurbish the interior of the building and “bring it back to what it used to be”.
“The old floor was hidden under like five layers of lino so we got that up and repolished it and we found Dami Designs to do the windows for us.
“He came in, met with us, and came up with the gold leaf lettering.
“We kind of went old school really – nice dark colours, lovely leather stools, then the old flooring – trying to just bring it back to what it used to be really. We can’t wait to welcome people in.”
For updates see ‘MacCurtain Wine Cellar’ on Instagram.
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