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Famous Killarney landmark Hilliard’s to re-open as a restaurant and cocktail bar creating 50 jobs

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Back to the future: Adrian Hilliard (second from right), whose family operated the thriving business from 1948, identifies former staff members in a photograph taken in 1964 with Sheahan Group directors Pat Sheahan (right), Niamh Sheahan and Pat Sheahan Jnr. They are pictured in the bar area of the new Hilliard’s restaurant and cocktail bar. Photo by Valerie O'Sullivan.

Back to the future: Adrian Hilliard (second from right), whose family operated the thriving business from 1948, identifies former staff members in a photograph taken in 1964 with Sheahan Group directors Pat Sheahan (right), Niamh Sheahan and Pat Sheahan Jnr. They are pictured in the bar area of the new Hilliard’s restaurant and cocktail bar. Photo by Valerie O'Sullivan.

Back to the future: Adrian Hilliard (second from right), whose family operated the thriving business from 1948, identifies former staff members in a photograph taken in 1964 with Sheahan Group directors Pat Sheahan (right), Niamh Sheahan and Pat Sheahan Jnr. They are pictured in the bar area of the new Hilliard’s restaurant and cocktail bar. Photo by Valerie O'Sullivan.

kerryman

FOR 148 years, Hilliard’s in Killarney traded as a department store, attracting well-heeled shoppers to sample an unrivalled selection of fine, handmade wares, from haberdashery to drapery and footwear.

Now the former commercial hub is set to re-open as a new business venture – Hilliard’s new restaurant and cocktail bar. 

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The iconic Hilliard brands have a proud commercial history in Killarney, and it is hoped the vibrant new restaurant and cocktail bar on 6/7 Main Street will have huge significance for a whole generation of people in Killarney given the major influence the Hilliard family had in the area for well over a century and a half. The unveiling of the back-to-the-future brand is particularly appropriate given that the new development, undertaken by the Sheahan Group, is located on the exact site of the former R Hilliard and Sons department store, which remains a landmark building on the town’s main retail thoroughfare.

The new venture, the stylish elder sister of JM Reidy’s, will bring the number of people employed by the Sheahan Group to over 500, with more than 50 new jobs being created at Hilliard’s.

Members of the Hilliard family are thrilled that the name and building will again become central to the commercial life of Killarney town.

The new team will be led by executive chef Diarmuid Murphy; head chef Rory Gabriel; mixologist Ariel Sanecki and operations manager Siobhan Whelan.

The striking feature original sign at the top of the building’s exterior, dating back to 1917, has been painstakingly restored by master craftsmen to ensure the business remains true to its roots. 

Originally commissioned by John Hilliard, who consulted with the Irish-language department in UCC, it was the first Irish-language façade in Killarney and the first use of the word ‘Teoranta’ on any sign of its kind on a shop front.

The official opening has been planned for Friday, July 8, but there is some suggestion of a sneak-peak this coming weekend.


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