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Sligo duo take over running of 134 year old pub

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Art Couihan and Tom Eaton who are taking over the running Bree's pub in Strandhill.

Art Couihan and Tom Eaton who are taking over the running Bree's pub in Strandhill.

Art Couihan and Tom Eaton who are taking over the running Bree's pub in Strandhill.

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After five years of successful running the Dunes Bar in Strandhill, two Sligo locals are ready to tackle their next venture.

Tom Eaton and Art Couihan are in the process of refurbishing Bree’s bar in Strandhill, an establishment that first opened its doors in 1887.

Tom says the pair will be initially running the Dunes and Bree’s simultaneously and that the grand opening will be on Friday, December 3.

“We’re going to run it alongside the Dunes until next September and then we’re leaving the Dunes because our lease is up,” he said,

“But we’ll be bringing the Dunes menu over to Bree’s and we’ll build a kitchen out the back next year.”

In the meantime, TÓSTA food van will be available on site for those looking to grab a bite to eat.

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“They’re going to be out the back for the next six months doing toasties so people can go there and come sit down in Bree’s,” he said.

Structurally wise the venue is going to stay the same and Tom says they are careful not to alienate the customers who have fond memories of Bree’s bar.

“We’re trying to bridge the gap. There’s a lot of young families around there and we want to make it comfortable for them,” he said.

“But there’s also people who have been coming there for years, we don’t want anyone to feel like we’re taking Bree’s away from them.

“We’ve built a 30x10 metre decking out the back with views of Knocknarea. Inside the décor has been brought up to date so it’s a bit more modern.

“There’s new tables and things like that but we want to keep that classic vibe of an older pub, we don’t want to do too much to it.”

Bree’s was always a location for a lively night of dancing and Tom says they are hoping to keep that spirit alive now it is being reopened.

“We’re going to be doing trad sessions once a month with some members of NoCrows and on opening night they’ll be cocktails and some music,” he said.

“We’ll do music every night at the weekend it opens so people have a chance to see it, with the restrictions there’s only so many you can get in and so many people are messaging us.

“We’ll be opening Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so people can kind of pick a night to come in.”


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