Tuesday 15 October 2019

Porterhouse bar under new ownership after 30 years

The Porterhouse in Bray was the first in the chain of Porterhouse bars
The Porterhouse in Bray was the first in the chain of Porterhouse bars
Liam LaHart and Oliver Hughes in 1989

Mary Fogarty

The Porterhouse Bray has been sold by the Porterhouse Group after 30 years of trading.

The Bray bar was the first in the Porterhouse chain, founded in 1989 by cousins Liam LaHart and the late Oliver Hughes

In a statement by Mr LaHart, he said that the change in ownership will see the re-branding of the seafront bar in the near future but it will currently trade as The Porterhouse. New owner Shane O'Farrell is also the proprietor of the Wild Goose, the Ardmore Bar and Butler & Barry.

'In nearly 30 years of trading, we had our ups and we had our downs,' said Liam. 'However when myself and my late business partner and cousin, Oliver, originally opened this bar, we could not have predicted the journey it has brought us on, within Bray and outside of it.

'I raised my family on this premises, and we have made friends that are there standing beside us to this day.'

Oliver died in August 2016, at the age of 57. The publican was a barrister before entering business with his cousin Liam. Together, they established a group of bars and businesses in Dublin and London.

Since the news of the sale was announced, there has been an outpouring of well wishes and happy memories of the beloved watering hole. Some Bray residents of a certain vintage will recall the halcyon days of sawdust on the nightclub floor, and coveted £2 concession tokens to get in to the back bar.

Many others earned their stripes as members of the workforce there, and have fond memories of Liam and Oliver as fair and kind bosses. The club was re-branded to the oft-mispronounced Eclectic Garden and back again, and the spirit of having live music and a relaxed atmosphere prevailed.

'We have been humbled by the kind words and messages over the last number of weeks about our closure,' said Liam. 'I hope that The Porterhouse has made its impact upon this magnificent town.'

He thanks staff and customers for their loyalty, and wished the new owners all the best for the future.

Bray People