Cork publican: Even busy Jazz Festival is 'not enough to sustain pubs'

Seán McCarthy, who owns SoHo on Grand Parade, was speaking ahead of this weekend’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival which he said is “great” for the industry but that publicans continue to look over their shoulders
Cork publican: Even busy Jazz Festival is 'not enough to sustain pubs'

Sean McCarthy: “You walk around Grand Parade, Oliver Plunkett St, and St Patrick’s Street on Monday, Tuesday, and even Wednesday nights at the moment and any time from 9pm or 9.30pm onwards it’s like a ghost town.” Pic: Larry Cummins

A CORK publican has raised concerns about the future of the industry, saying busy trading times in the year are simply not enough to keep businesses afloat.

Seán McCarthy, who owns SoHo on Grand Parade, was speaking ahead of this weekend’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival which he said is “great” for the industry but that publicans continue to look over their shoulders.

“You walk around Grand Parade, Oliver Plunkett St, and St Patrick’s Street on Monday, Tuesday, and even Wednesday nights at the moment and any time from 9pm or 9.30pm onwards it’s like a ghost town,” he said.

“I would be very concerned and worried for our business and what way it will be in the New Year.

“It’s great to say we have Jazz this weekend and it’s great to say Christmas is coming but we can’t run our businesses on a weekend and Christmas doesn’t even operate on a weekly basis anymore now it’s all gone into Friday and Saturday nights.

“So Cork unfortunately, in terms of hospitality, particularly in the bar business, is struggling at the moment. There’s only a very small minority doing well and best of luck to them but a lot of us are looking over our shoulders and seeing what’s coming down the track.”

He said that while they are expecting larger crowds this weekend, many Jazz-goers are conscious of their spending and are picking and choosing what night to go out.

“I was speaking to people last weekend who would stay around for the Jazz and enjoy Jazz — and where there were people doing two or more nights of Jazz before, they’re now talking about one night this year.

“People are really worried and they’re very conscious of how they are spending and their money and when they do go out they want the value for it and they want an experience and a really good night is built around occasions now.”

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