Wexford’s T Morris named best bar in Leinster less than two years after opening

The staff of T Morris's, recently voted the best bar in Leinster at the Irish Restaurant Awards.

Simon BourkeWexford People

At a time when many publicans were shutting their doors for the last time, James Ryan was moving in the opposite direction, was putting the plans in place to open a new bar, a new drinking establishment right in the middle of a pandemic. The new manager of T. Morris’s on Monck Street chose to open his doors for the first time on June 30, 2021 despite not knowing how the next week would pan out, never mind the next year.

Yet now, less than two years later, T. Morris has been named the best bar in Leinster at the Irish Restaurant Awards and will go forward to the national final on May 15. The former owner of the Chaz Bar first worked in what was then The Entertainer when he was just 15-years-old and says he had a vision for T Morris’s right from the outset.

“I knew the area and that there was a gap in the market for the sort of bar we have, it’s hit the ground running and we’ve done very well, I was lucky with the people who came with me,” said James. ”It’s a ‘pub pub’ as such, we don’t serve food, it’s just good service, quality drink. People still want to go out, obviously everyone is finding things a little bit difficult at the minute and they want value for money, so good cocktails, good wines, good drinks, and good, local entertainment.”

With Monck Street being regenerated and a outdoor roof planned for later in the year, James says the reputation of the pub has seen it become the drinking establishment of choice for people from all over the county.

“We seem to be attracting people from outside of Wexford too, on the busier nights we have people coming in buses from the north of the county, the south, with the street getting done and the roof coming it’s going to be a huge benefit. And we have a lot of good neighbours around us with Sam next door, Maggie May’s and the Crown.

“But the award is down to owners Ciaran, Marie, and Suzanne Mooney and the hard work of all the staff here, we have five full-time staff and 20 in total and they’re a great bunch."

A recent announcement for Wexford town has merely added to the good news for James and his team.

“The fleadh will be a huge opportunity for everyone in the town, at the awards we were being congratulated by people from Drogheda, Kilkenny, all they said was ‘ring me about the fleadh because what’s coming is phenomenal’, there was so many awards won for Wexford and it’s great for the tourist season ahead.”