Plans for Tralee Spitjack restaurant get green light

The Spitjack restaurant in Cork

Simon BrouderKerryman

A POPULAR restaurant chain has been given permission to convert a vacant Tralee unit into its first outlet in Kerry.

The Spitjack Ltd – a company based at Clieveragh in Listowel – had applied to Kerry County seeking permission to convert the existing two units in the protected former alms house building at Market Place in Tralee into a single restaurant premises.

The building is a protected structure and, at its rear, it adjoins a long vacant mill building which is also on the protected structures list.

The planned works will involve the complete revamp of the building to convert it into a spacious, modern, two storey restaurant complex with a new, high quality shop frontage.

A courtyard to the rear of the premises is also to be renovated and roofed over.

Tralee’s Town Development Plan sets out an ambition to regenerate the square – which is currently mainly used as a small council operated car park – and regenerate the laneways that surround it.

In their initial application and based on Kerry County Council’s concept for the development of Market Place and its surrounding area the developers said the “convergence” of their proposal and the local authority’s future plans, which are entirely unconnected, was “timely”.

Permission for the development was granted following and archaeological assessment and subject to eight conditions.

These include a requirement that the restaurant does not offer a take-away service without securing prior permission. Company records show that The Spitjack Ltd’s directors are Caroline Ruth Hoban and Richard Gavin.

Mr Gavin is the co-founder and co-owner of two existing Spitjack restaurants in Cork and Limerick.

The Cork Spitjack restaurant opened on Washington Street in 2017 and has gone on to become one of the city’s most popular dining venues for brunch, lunch and dinner.

A second Spitjack restaurant was opened on Bedford Row in Limerick City Centre in 2020 and has proved just as popular as its counterpart in the Rebel County.

Spitjack restaurants are described as “rotisserie brasseries” and the multi award winning restaurants were the first of their kind in Ireland to adopt the increasingly popular concept.

The Tralee branch of the growing franchise will be the first time the chain has opened an outlet outside a city.